Joy for campaigners as council scraps homes plan near Castor
Development of 2,500 properties on countryside is dropped
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“I am delighted that the local community has pulled together and fought off this outdated proposal for such an historically important landscape.”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