Joy for cam­paign­ers as coun­cil scraps homes plan near Cas­tor

De­vel­op­ment of 2,500 prop­er­ties on coun­try­side is dropped

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy 01733 588728

Cam­paign­ers have won a big vic­tory af­ter Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil scrapped a con­tro­ver­sial plan to al­low a 2,500 home de­vel­op­ment on coun­try­side near the vil­lages of Cas­tor and Ailsworth.

The news has been met with joy by the cam­paign group Pro­tect Ru­ral Peter­bor­ough (PRP) which has spent thou­sands of hours re­search­ing, gath­er­ing ev­i­dence and lob­by­ing against what had been dubbed the ‘Great Kyne’ de­vel­op­ment.

PRP chair Martin Chill­cott said: “This was and is the wrong de­vel­op­ment in the wrong place for the many rea­sons that the Pro­tect Ru­ral Peter­bor­ough cam­paign high­lighted.

“Our thanks to all of our sup­port­ers right across Peter­bor­ough and from fur­ther afield. Also big thanks to our MP Shailesh Vara and ward coun­cil­lors John Holdich and Peter Hiller for their vo­cif­er­ous sup­port for the PRP cam­paign op­pos­ing ‘Great Kyne’ and other coun­cil­lors across the par­ties who en­gaged with PRP.”

Mr Vara, the MP for North West Cam­bridgeshire, also ex­pressed his de­light that the set­tle­ment will not go ahead.

He said: “This is the right de­ci­sion and it is good to see that com­mon sense has fi­nally pre­vailed.

“Build­ing what would es­sen­tially have been an ur­ban ex­ten­sion of Peter­bor­ough at Cas­tor and Ailsworth would have been com­pletely in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“I am de­lighted that the lo­cal com­mu­nity has pulled to­gether and fought off this out­dated pro­posal for such an his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant land­scape.”

The de­ci­sion to ditch the de­vel­op­ment comes af­ter the coun­cil put a pause to its Lo­cal Plan - the doc­u­ment which sets out the hous­ing tar­get in the city up un­til 2036. The de­fer­ral came af­ter the Govern­ment said it was seek­ing a new method for coun­cils to as­sess hous­ing need, which would af­fect Peter­bor­ough.

This has now re­sulted in a re­vised tar­get of 21,315 new homes to be built, a re­duc­tion of 1,673 homes.

Cllr Hiller, who is also cab­i­net mem­ber for growth, plan­ning, hous­ing and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, said he wel­comed the de­ci­sion to re­move the homes north of Cas­tor and Ailsworth af­ter he had been lob­by­ing for month.

Coun­cil leader Cllr Holdich, who has also lob­bied against the homes plan, said: “There was con­sid­er­able doubt whether it could be de­liv­ered be­cause of the in­fra­struc­ture. That’s al­ways been my view.”

In the re­vised ver­sion of the Lo­cal Plan new hous­ing al­lo­ca­tions to­talling 550 homes

‘It is good to see that com­mon sense has fi­nally pre­vailed’ MP Shailesh Vara

Cam­paign­ers at the site where the 2,500 homes had been planned

Shailesh Vara

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