LETTER: Too many homes for Peterborough’s rural areas

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Further doubts have been raised about Peterborough’s suitability to take on 2,500 homes from neighbouring authorities in a draft report produced by Aecom – a multinational engineering and housing consultancy.

The Housing Needs Assessment report for Whittlesey Town Council details a potential increase in the number of homes allocated to Whittlesey in its local plan and for the market town to perform a role in supporting Cambridgeshire’s housing market.

The 2013 memorandum of co-operation between councils in Cambridgeshire saw Peterborough City Council chiefs give in to other local authorities in Cambridgeshire and take on 2,500 overspill dwellings which were then allocated to the Great Kyne site adjacent to Castor Hanglands.

The council defended these plans last week in the Peterborough Telegraph by arguing that the agreement also took on the needs of local towns such as Whittlesey, but it is now clear that these towns are capable of not only fulfilling their own housing needs but also supporting the wider region.

This damning new report raises serious questions about why Peterborough City Council has agreed to take the entire allocation of 2,500 homes rather than fighting the city’s corner in the negotiations in 2013.

It is shocking that Peterborough City Council has overburdened our rural areas without giving due consideration to the capacity of other local councils to take on housing allocation.

Given the recent merger of Fenland and Peterborough’s planning departments, this sows doubt amongst residents about whether Peterborough is really getting the best deal.

Residents from right across Peterborough have been unified in their opposition to the proposed development.

Protect Rural Peterborough’s campaign has had broad appeal with more than 500 sign ups online and 300 people coming along to a public meeting to voice their opposition to the council’s plan.

This attack on Peterborough’s countryside comes just weeks after new Labour MP for the city centre Fiona Onasanya termed the rural outskirts of Peterborough ‘our own gardens of Eden’.

More information www.protect-rural-peterborough.org.uk

Martin Chillcott

Protect Rural