Proposals for the future growth of Peterborough and its surrounding villages will be discussed by councillors tonight.
It marks the start of the next stage of developing a new Local Plan for the area covered by the city council. When adopted the Local Plan will set out the locations for and quantities of new housing, community facilities, shops and employment land.
Earlier this year a consultation was held on the Preliminary Draft Local Plan which set out the need for 27,625 new homes and 22,024 new jobs to be created in the city between 2011 and 2036.
At that stage the public, landowners, agents and parish councils were asked to suggest sites for future housing and employment use. These sites were then published in May.
In total 120 sites were put forward and were all assessed for suitability. The 35 preferred sites are in included in what is now known as the Further Draft Local Plan.
Since 2011 just under 13,500 homes have either been completed or granted planning permission in the city. A further 10,800 are included in existing allocated sites, such as Great Haddon (5,900 homes) and Norwood (1,600 homes).
In addition to these existing sites there are new proposals for approximately 3,500 homes across the city council area as part of the process to develop a new Local Plan. This includes:
Urban areas – 750 properties such as additional land in the city centre and as part of a wider plan for the East of England Showground
Villages – 370 properties split between Eye, Helpston and Thorney
New settlement – land to the north of the A47 close to Castor and Ailsworth for 2,500 properties, with proposals for a new country park between Castor and Ailsworth and south of the A47.
A number of suggested sites were rejected in the preliminary phase including proposals for 15 further sites in Eye; which were suggested in addition to those which are now being put forward.
Officers are also recommending that a specific policy is adopted for the village to ensure new developments have wider benefits for residents.
Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, said: “As a rapidly growing city it is vital that we have a clear plan to manage our growth. This draft plan is where, in principle, we believe new homes should be built and new jobs created.
“However, it’s very important to underline that no final decisions have been made and that a new round of public consultation will begin in December.
“An adopted Local Plan allows the city to identify and select the best and most sustainable sites for Peterborough’s growth. This means that we can reject developments outside of these allocated sites.
“Without a Local Plan, and without sufficient land supply, it means that a developer can build ad hoc.”
Producing a Local Plan is a lengthy process. A consultation on these specific sites will take place in December 2016 before a final version of the Local Plan is made public in spring next year for final consultation. It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State. Once agreed, it would be adopted in 2018.
As the basis for future planning decisions, it is very important that local people contribute their views on the plan when the consultation opens later this year.
This process will also merge and update existing plans such as the core strategy, planning policies, site allocations and City Centre Plan to form one new over-arching plan for the area.