RES­I­DENTS WIN BAT­TLE OVER HOMES PLAN

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Rob Alexan­der and Joel Lamy robert.alexan­der@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @robalexan­der001

Tax­pay­ers may lose out af­ter a large back­lash against plans for 20 new homes per­suaded city coun­cil­lors to op­pose the de­vel­op­ment.

There were tears of joy and hug­ging as the coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee sur­pris­ingly voted against the plans for This­tle Drive, Stan­ground, due to a loss of open space.

But, de­vel­op­ers Medesham Homes said it “in­tends to use ev­ery av­enue open” to chal­lenge the de­ci­sion, with the land hav­ing pre­vi­ously been al­lo­cated for af­ford­able hous­ing. How­ever, as Medesham is jointly run by the coun­cil and hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion Cross Keys Homes, this could mean the coun­cil ap­peal­ing against its own de­ci­sion - with tax­pay­ers hav­ing to pay out.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, com­mit­tee mem­ber Cllr Gra­ham Casey, who voted for the ap­pli­ca­tion, ad­mit­ted that by turn­ing down the plans the coun­cil would lose the ap­peal and “spend a lot of pub­lic money in the process”.

Ward coun­cil­lors Chris­tian Hogg and John Whitby led the ob­jec­tions. Cllr Hogg said: “This is a much loved piece of recre­ational land used ev­ery day by lo­cals.”

Cllr Whitby said park­ing prob­lems would only get worse, while Pete Lum­ley, leader of the lo­cal Scout group for the past 35 years, added: “The loss of this open space would be dis­as­trous.”

A pe­ti­tion against the plans had been signed by more than 2,000 res­i­dents.

Cab­i­net mem­ber for hous­ing, and Medesham board mem­ber, Cllr Peter Hiller told the com­mit­tee: “We are not ‘Bob the Builder’. There will be a min­i­mum of six af­ford­able houses, if not the en­tire site.”

Af­ter the meet­ing Cllr Hogg said: “We’re go­ing to write to ev­ery coun­cil­lor and ask them to sup­port us in this. If Medesham Homes de­cide to ap­peal then the cost to the tax­pay­ers of Peter­bor­ough could run to £100,000 in le­gal fees, and no­body wants that.”

Medesham also re­cently saw an ap­pli­ca­tion for 43 homes at Bret­ton Court re­jected by the same com­mit­tee.

A Medesham spokesper­son said the lat­est re­jec­tion was a “missed op­por­tu­nity” to help the large num­ber of fam­i­lies in Peter­bor­ough in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion, but that it is “de­ter­mined to im­prove the lives of those peo­ple af­fected by home­less­ness. in the city”.

Tues­day’s meet­ing at the Town Hall

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