MP’s delight at the plans to attract new investors
I am delighted Peterborough City Council will be hosting a major conference for investors later this month.
Its focus will be on attracting private sector money to enable us to progress with some key regeneration schemes in the city, including the North Westgate development, the South Bank and Station Quarters.
It’s vital that we have ambitious plans to emerge from the recession by attracting new jobs and businesses to Peterborough, both in the public sector and private enterprise, while the Coalition Government endeavours to tackle the mountain of public sector debt left by the outgoing Labour Government.
a good start has been made with the reconfiguration and renewal of Cathedral Square and the new St John’s Square, both of which will be completed by the end of the year.
However, the city council should also think very hard about its strategy of housing growth, predicated on numerical targets, with no evidence of planning infrastructure or employment patterns over the next 10 or more years.
Now that the Regional Spatial Strategy is gone, it has an opportunity to think again about what housing is needed locally, rather than what is forced on us by central government.
The Coalition Government has now scrapped the onerous rules which force councils to turn down plans for family homes with gardens in favour of developments of cramped flats and this week announced that “minimum density targets” introduced by Labour will be abandoned, to allow developers to build larger and more spacious properties.
The targets, which currently dictate that at least 30 homes are built on every hectare of land, have been criticised for leading to a profusion of high rise blocks containing “affordable” apartments too small to raise children.
architects and campaigners also complained the drive to cram more homes into towns and cities was threatening the character and green spaces of existing neighbourhoods. ministers this week confirmed the density rules are among a host of “meddling” regulations which will be rescinded by the new government.
It’s time Peterborough worked to its own agenda, showed real civic leadership and developed a reputation for aspiration and excellence. Only in that way can we attract new people, new businesses and real economic growth which will benefit both current residents and future generations. I hope and believe that Cllr marco Cereste and the Conservative administration is more than up to the challenge. STEWART JACKSon
MP for Peterborough
BELIEF IN THE COUNCIL: MP Stewart Jackson.