Tanholt Farm development – Outline planning application approved…

Well, where do we start on this debacle of democracy…

Tanholt Farm development or LP39.7 as it’s known in the local plan actually dates back to the previous local plan. Part of the area was submitted but was removed before the plan was approved. The previous plan was supposed to run until 2025 but when national planning guidance changed the council had to withdraw the previous local plan and implement the one we have now. The Tanholt development was put forward as site LP39.7 in the plan which was approved at a full council meeting in July 2019. There has been constant feedback to the planning process, that the estate is too big for the village since before the local plan was approved, but very little changed. Some may say this is just another example nimbyism, but this is the single largest estate approved for development in the history of the village and Eye has already had more new residential housing than any other village in the Peterborough area.

As previously reported in 2018 at a council meeting for the local plan there was a dismissive response from Conservative Councillor Peter Hillier to Councillor Allen’s concerns on the impact of the new estate: “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.” As said at the time the A1139 is pretty much gridlocked every rush hour. Peter Hiller’s Ward which includes the villages of Castor, Ailsworth, Glinton and Northborough has a grand total of 14 homes in the local plan.

As one resident said: “It seems the only way to make your opposition heard is to vote for any party than the ruling one at local elections, responding to planning applications gets you nowhere.” and there’s no getting away from the fact that the Tanholt development was included for housing in the local plan under the Conservative’s administration of the Peterborough City Council. Before the local plan went to full council for approval the site could have been removed or at least reduced in size, it wasn’t. Once approved in the local plan very little could be done about it. And it is unfair to blame our local councillors for this, while they could have voted against the local plan it wouldn’t have made any difference to the result. Eye has seen almost 15 years of continuous growth, as a village we need time to absorb newcomers, constant growth isn’t conducive to a strong community

The land to the west of dyke, around the school, that runs through the plot is currently owned by:

So at least the money is going to good causes although that doesn’t really help the village. It’s likely that these charities own the land because it was bequeathed to them at some point. The land to the east, south of Sandlewood Drive and Pioneer, is currently owned by:

  • Christopher Cutteridge, Tanholt Farm, Eyebury, Peterborough PE6 7TH

The Planning and Environmental Protection Committee approval of Tanholt Farm

Chair of the meeting, Councillor Peter Hiller

On the 25 January, Peterborough City Council’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee approved the outline planning application for the 13.1 hectare, 265 home development off Eyebury Road in the village. Despite over 300 objections including objections by the Parish Council, the development was recommended for approval by the Council’s planning department.

Ward councillor Nigel Simons and resident Dale McKean both gave representation at the meeting. Also attending was Chris Dwain, Planning Director at Allison Homes who was there on behalf of the building company. Allison Homes have recently taken over Larkfleet.

One thing that stuck with me was the fact that he started his talk by thanking the officers of the council for the collaborative approach that afforded the development in getting to this stage. When the officers are working with the developer so they will get approval, what hope is there for residents?

After Chris Dwain finished his piece the committee discussed the planning application and it then went to vote:

Councillors who voted against it:

  • Cllr Christian Hogg: Liberal Democrats
  • Cllr Scott Warren: Conservative
  • Cllr Alan Dowson: Labour and Cooperative Party

Councillors who voted for:

  • Cllr Peter Hiller: Conservative
  • Cllr Amjad Iqbal: Labour (Proposed to go with the officer’s recommendation of approval)
  • Cllr Andrew Bond: Liberal Democrats
  • Cllr Brian Rush: Conservative
  • Cllr Ishfaq Hussain: Conservative (seconded the proposal)
  • Cllr Lindsay Sharp: Conservative
  • Cllr Mahboob Hussain: Labour

Cllr Richard Brown, ward councillor for Eye, Thorney and Newborough had to abstain from this part of the meeting as he had already commented on the planning application, which would have led to a conflict of interests.

And so outline planning permission was approved. You can see a recording of the planning meeting on Youtube. Times below:

  • 2:46:15 Start
  • 2:46:45 Introduction of the planning application, by Sylvia Bland. Development Management Group Leader.
  • 3:06:30 Councillor Nigel Simmons
  • 3:11:60 Eye resident Dale McKean
  • 3:21:30 Chris Dwain, Planning Director at Allison Homes
  • 3:45:50 Discussion by the committee
  • 4:07:00 Vote

CIL

The City Council will receive Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and S106 money for the development. This is money Peterborough City council receive from developers for investment in local infrastructure. As for the CIL, only 15 per cent is guaranteed to be spent in the parish as this goes to the Parish Council. The rest goes into a central pot for Peterborough City Council to spend as they please, anywhere in the city, there’s no guarantee that it will be spent in the village or even close to it.

  • Transport & Communication 30%
  • Community & Leisure 10%
  • Education & Learning 40%
  • Health & Adult Social Care and Emergency Services 10%
  • Environment 10%

Section 106 monies will go towards:

  • 30% affordable housing
  • Footway/cycleway link
  • Bus Stop Improvements
  • School land transfer.

And just to emphasise the land extension for the school isn’t being ‘donated’. The cost of the land comes from the S106 money which is a contribution provided by a developer towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure.

Policy LP40

Let’s take a look at policy LP40. Due to the size of the site, the developer also has to comply with policy LP40 before the planning application will be passed, although as said previously some points are very flexible for the developer.

  1. The scale of residential development will be subject to a detailed Transport Assessment and Travel Plan which will demonstrate that the quantity of homes proposed is deliverable taking account of; safe and suitable access to the site; and cost-effective and necessary improvements to the transport network. It is anticipated that the scale will be around 250 dwellings, but potentially less following the outcome of the transport assessment;
    • To prevent the development from being more than 250 dwellings it should have said a “maximum of 250 but potentially less”. What “cost-effective and necessary improvements to the transport network” means is anyone’s guess.
  2. 2.5 storey house

    A residential-led scheme, of a range of types and tenures that meet needs and respects the surrounding context;

    • To meet the”respects the surrounding context” the height of homes is limited to 2.5 floors, this basically means any third floors will need to be built in the roof space.
  3. The quality of life of adjacent users, especially residential users which abut the site, should be respected;
    • Minimal allowance has been made with small zones where buildings will not be located next to existing houses and the residential home.
  4. Ensuring the satisfactory provision of education facilities are available, and if not, address these deficiencies on-site;
    • The Primary School is already full with them having to purchase a temporary unit to home the current numbers of Primary School-aged children in the village. As time goes on the situation will deteriorate further. The developer has set aside land for school expansion, this isn’t being given to the council but the cost will come out of the s106 money and a new access for the school,. The responsibility for any expansion sits with Peterborough City Council, not the school. The pupil roll forecast for Eye Primary School from the Joint Early Years and Education Response to the consultation for outline planning of the Tanholt development:
      Forecast Year Places +/-
      2020/21 -16
      2021/22 -37
      2022/23 -49
      2023/24 -64
      2024/25 -83

      As the table above shows, there will be a deficit of 83 places by 2024/25 if the school isn’t expanded soon.

      The council will have to supply school transport to another primary or junior school if this happens, which maybe be the new Manor Drive Academy in Gunthorpe although there’s not really any safe way of walking there, at least not for Primary Care Children. Further details here.

  1. Provision of wider community facilities as identified through consultation with the wider Eye community (subject to viability, deliverability and consideration of long term management of such facilities);
    • It seems there has been no mention of this point at any planning meeting. It almost seems it was put in as a sweetener for residents but in reality, means nothing.
  2. Careful consideration of vehicular access to and from the site, the traffic implications for the wider Eye area and junctions on the A47;
    • Relating to point one above, Peterborough City Council said they didn’t anticipate any issues with traffic developed by the site.
  3. Provision, including potential off-site provision (secured by legal agreement), of high quality access for pedestrians and cyclists from, and within, the site to the key community facilities and services in Eye
    • ” potential off-site provision” Basically the developer will build a proper footpath from Thorney Road to the site between Fountains Place and Sandleford Drive and that’s about it.
  4. Details of the long term governance structure for the development, addressing issues such as community involvement and engagement and any financial arrangements to ensure long term viability of facilities.
    • This means a management company will maintain the site once development completes. It’s regularly used on new development, also, known as fleecehold. Basically, residents pay full council tax then £200 – £600 to the maintenance company on top to maintain their estate. You can read more about it on the website for the nearby Gunthorpe Estate.

 

Read our previous coverage of the story:

I have contacted Larkpoint then Allison Homes directly a couple of times, they’ve never responded to my enquiries, so much for community engagement…

Really the only way to reduce any further development in the short term is to have a neighbourhood plan. Something the village’s Parish Council has looked at previously. The risk is the new planning bill could make existing local plans obsolete starting the entire process off again. Local Plans legally have to be reviewed every five years to make sure they are up to date and meet the needs of the local population. The Peterborough local plan is due to be reviewed in 2024 and surely there will be more pressure to open up further land for development.

Any errors please contact us and we will endeavour to correct them.

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