You’ve ruined Eye and you should be ashamed of yourselves” said Mayor of Peterborough and village Councillor at the time David Sanders to city planners in October 2016. Even as late as 2005 you could look across grass meadows from the north side of the High Street. This has now been lost forever. Over the past 10 years approximately 365 homes have been built across the village:
- Bath Road: 91
- Merevale Drive: 21
- Millport Drive: 59
- Sandleford Drive estate: 50
- The Croft: 14
- Verde Close: 57
- Whitby Avenue: 73
The ‘ proposed submission’ version of the Local Plan is available for comment until the 20 February 2018. This is the final version that is put to public consultation and independent examination. The plan sets out the council’s planning policies for growth and regeneration of Peterborough and the surrounding villages up to 2036 (although the previous Peterborough Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) which was adopted in February 2011 was supposed to last until 2026). The next stage the council will submit the local plan to the Secretary of State together with feedback received during the proposed submission stage.
The ‘site references’ that apply to Eye in the new plan are:
- LP39.2: South of Northam Crescent, 1.13ha – 17 dwellings
- LP39.3: Land at Guilsborough Road – 3.36 ha – 55 dwellings. More here.
- LP39.4: Land east of Fountains Place – 2.633ha – 11 dwellings
- LP39.8: Tanholt Farm, Eye – 13.3ha – 250 dwellings
As previous experience has shown these figures are only indicative, housing companies are very likely to submit planning applications in excess of the number in the plan. More homes mean more profit, the long term impact isn’t of great concern. As the village has grown so have the number of crimes. On top of this, a planning application for 35 homes at Cranmere House to the west of the village has also been applied for.
In addition to the future developments in Eye are an additional 2000 homes in the Paston ward just across the A16 to the west of the village. With the addition of the Norwood development, Paston’s population is expected to grow from 8,520 in 2010 to 17,300 in 2031*. To show the variation across the city, the entire Glinton and Castor ward, the ward of Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Hiller and Leader of the Council Councillor John Holdich, which includes the villages of Glinton, Northborough, Peakirk, Ailsworth and Castor has been allocated just 33 homes in the submission plan.
Concerns about the size of the Tanholt Farm estate in the previous consultation stage a ‘masterplan’ will have to be developed for the area before any building work takes place:
|Policy LP40: Tanholt Farm, Eye
Prior to the approval of detailed proposals for the site at Tanholt Farm, Eye (Site LP39.8) an outline planning application comprising, amongst other matters, a comprehensive masterplan for the whole area should be submitted and approved by the council.
In developing the masterplan there should be a high level of engagement with appropriate stakeholders including the local community.
The masterplan, together with other material submitted with an outline planning application, should demonstrate achieving the following key principles:
With the exception of minor proposals of very limited consequence to the overall redevelopment of the entire site, the council will not approve any detailed planning proposals for any parts of the site until, and subsequently in accordance with, a comprehensive planning permission for the entire site has been achieved (including any agreed Planning Obligation to ensure specific elements of the wider scheme are guaranteed to be delivered).
The local plan was discussed at the full meeting of the Council in December 2017. Listen here:
At the meeting village Councillor, Steve Allen had this to say on behalf of the village: “Can I declare that I broadly support the local plan, notwithstanding the removal of the Great Kyne site which would have offered a substantial sustainable development and fully recognised the future growth of Peterborough. We are where we are with that, the site taken out of the revised local plan, I can understand the frustration of Eye residents who feel their objections have not been listened to. There’s a feeling that the village has been dumped on in the past with more and more houses without the necessary infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure improvements must be the red line for the approval of any further housing. It’s essential that the availability of school places is addressed before a further brick is laid. Now the school in Eye already near full capacity and that’s before currently approved developments have even commenced building. We must deal with the traffic handling of the A47 bypass, the A1139 between Peterborough and Eye, and Eyebury Road. All of which are gridlocked with the morning and afternoon commute. Now corporate director for growth and regeneration has said, and I quote his comments, as reported in the Peterborough Telegraph: “the commitment in here, and he was referring to the Peterborough local plan is to “make sure Eye’s growth is properly dealt with and has the necessary infrastructure improvement. There should be a benefit to the local area as a consequence.” I think we need to make sure those words are not just platitudes and are along with my fellow ward Councillors, I am committed to ensuring that is the case. Thank you.”
Councillor Brown: “I’m supporting the local plan, but I’m not supporting that larger development in Eye along with my fellow Councillors. Thank you”
Quite a dismissive response from Council Hillier: “Councillor Allen mentions current gridlock, I mean to be honest Councillor Allen if we didn’t have successive and successful local plans you’d really appreciate what gridlock really is.” It’s quite obvious that Councillor Hillier has never tried to get out of the village along the A1139 at 8.30am on a weekday morning…
Councillor Holditch, leader of the council discussing the Great Kyne development north of Castor: Just to let me say as I am a member for Great Kyne, and there are two people over there that know this full well, the proposal for 2,500 houses would not of stuck, they would have gone with their big barristers because they put in for 5000 and you would have ended up with 5000. You can’t have any less than 2500 because the infrastructure isn’t there and you wouldn’t be able to put the infrastructure in with 2500 houses and I would say to Councillor Martin, you would have been more affected than Castor. Because if 5000 houses had got all those cars that have got to get into Peterborough in the morning. You would have had them in Bretton, West Ward and all the rest of it. Not Castor because there is a bypass around it. So you need to think about that. ”
As said previously though there is a risk that the Great Kyne development which was removed from the submission version could be put back into the plan by the Secretary of State as happened with an area in the 2011 DPD for Eye.
In the submission version of the 2011 DPD the development to the south of Thorney Road (now the Sandleford Drive estate) (H150 on the plan here) was removed by the City Council and then partially put back in by the Secretary of State (SA5.7 on the final DPD). Because of this change, it will not be easy for the traffic to exit onto Thorney Road from the planned Tanholt development (LP39.8) which is in the new submission version of the local plan.
There has been continuous house building in the village for the past 10 years, with the Tanholt development it will continue for another 10. Going by 2011 census data (homes with no car: 13 %, one car: 48%, two or more cars 39%) just the Tanholt development could mean an extra 320 cars travelling along Eyebury Road.
In July 2017 Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Everyone needs somewhere decent to live, but do we have the infrastructure to support it? “These villages that may feel overburdened, or overloaded, it’s not sufficient just to put houses in an area if you haven’t looked at the roads. And not just looking at the roads but the schools. “Do we have the infrastructure there to make this community remain bound together, but also that people can join it and it not feel so pressurised, because actually one single road going into a village that you’ve just put another 500 people in, there will be a problem. “So we need to make sure there’s a balance across the board.”
Sadly the Tanholt development will also mean the loss of fields that are viewable from the primary school and Field House, a care home for the elderly.
Peterborough Local Plan Consultation
Sustainable Growth Strategy
Peterborough City Council
Town Hall, Bridge Street
The closing date for all comments is 11:59 pm on 20 February 2018.
For further information visit the Peterborough City Council website here.
- Peterborough Telegraph: Major plan to develop Peterborough with 21,315 new homes approved despite reservations
- BBC2: The New Builds Are Coming: Battle in the Countryside This series investigates the controversial decision by the government to free up the green belt to developers and see if building estates across the British countryside is a solution to the UK’s broken housing market.
Dwellings is the terminology the city council use for new homes.
With the UK population growing by over half a million a year, pressures to build further homes isn’t going away. In fact,t by the time this plan reaches its end in 2035 the UK population will have grown another six million to over 73 millionons. There are also plenty of reasons for land owners to put land forward for development. Agricultural land is worth around £20,000 per hectare however once it has gained planning permission it can be worth millions. LP39.2, the land south of Northam Close is on the market for £1.25 million.
Comments from the further draft of the Local Plan:
CD: “I am deeply concerned about the planned proposal to add yet another 250 houses in the village. I object to any more growth for Eye Village as per the points below. Since 2011 over 110 of the 185 houses planned for Eye have already been built with another 94 with planning permission yet to be built and the School and the Doctors are full already and Eye now has a population of 5,160. So why have the planners now proposed another 250 houses that clearly the residents do not want and the infrastructure cannot cope with. If this growth goes ahead there will be a need for:
- A 50% increase in the School size from 60 children in each year to 90 with expansion to its Kitchens, Dinning, Assembly, staff, playground and playing field areas
- Road improvements along Eyebury Rd, the wider Eye area and junctions on the A47, including safe pedestrian crossing’s due to extra traffic flows.
- Increasing the size of the Doctors and parking
- For many years there has been significant Rat Run traffic Issues along Eyebury Rd during peak hours and especially during the morning school run, leading to a number of near misses. Any further development in Eye will make this worse with Eye traffic also needing to use Eyebury Rd due to traffic jams on the bypass, increasing the risk of pedestrian / vehicular accidents
- Eye is already full it’s population has grown by 2,000 since the Census of 1991 to 5,160 and with the current sites and the extra 250 houses this would mean Eye would grow to a population of 6,000
- The proposed site also has a public footpath that runs right across the middle of it.
- Eye Village has done its bit for the growth of Peterborough already and its residents wants no more growth.”
Larkfleet : “We welcome the inclusion of this site as a proposed allocation for housing. As you are aware Larkfleet Homes have been delivering sustainable, high quality homes in Eye for a number of years. The proposed site allocation is an obvious extension to our existing developments in Eye which are nearing completion. The site is ideally located, being adjacent to the primary school and just a short walk or cycle ride to the village centre. Being adjacent to the school will be an advantage as if there is a need to expand the school to accommodate the level of growth anticipated, then the necessary land can be provided. Although at a very early stage in the development process, our initial assessments confirm that the site is deliverable and we are working in partnership with the other landowner to ensure that the development of the site will be undertaken in a comprehensive manner ensuring full compliance with the proposed policy. Our intention is engage with the Council and the community so that we can better identify the constraints and opportunities that the site has as well as instruct the preparation of various studies such as traffic assessments and ecology reports etc. This will help inform the design stage of the development and help the Council in the refinement of their proposed policy.”
It’s unlikely the council will change anything in the plan without good cause and risk the wrath of Larkfleet. In 2014 Larkfleet Homes decided to fight against the legality of Uppingham’s Neighbourhood Plan and take it to the Court of Appeal as their site in the town wasn’t included in the plan. Neighbourhood plans were introduced in 2011 as part of the Localism Act and give people more say over their area and puts communities in charge of setting out the homes, shops and amenities they want in their vicinity.
- Larkfleet Homes starts High Court battle against Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan
- Larkfleet continues battle against Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan
- Developer loses Court of Appeal challenge over neighbourhood plan.
Larkfleet’s pre-tax profit for the year ending 30 June 2017 reached £13.9m, more than double the previous year’s £6.3m.