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Billion pound boom town

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Peterborough is gearing up for major commercial and public sector development projects worth well in excess of £1 billion over the next few years.

Predicted growth rates calculate that Peterborough’s current population of 160,000 will rise to 200,000 by 2021 through the construction of at least 21,200 new homes and the creation of at least 17,400 new jobs.

Peterborough City Council is confident that the city has the potential to grow at an even faster rate.

Investors are already lining up to profit from Peterborough’s booming prospects, with progress being made on several schemes, including the £350 million development programme for the North Westgate area adjoining the Queensgate Centre.

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A development brief for a £500 million Station Quarter Gateway envisages construction of up to 100,000 sq m of offices, 1,200 homes, 4,000 car park spaces and the creation of 5,000 jobs. Marketing of a £150 million mixed-use scheme on the River Nene South Bank to a ‘hot list’ of developers will begin later this year, with detailed plans expected by December.

on a new acute hospital and mental health unit, and improved access from Bretton Gate will proceed in phases between 2006 and 2009 when the existing hospital buildings will be demolished.

Plans were also submitted in March for a £142 million Gateway distribution park on a 119-acre (48.1 hectare) site at the junction of the A1(M) and Fletton Parkway. Five warehouses are proposed with a total floor area of 1,817,085 sq ft (168,807 sq m).

Large-scale housing developments are also in progress or are planned. The Hampton township on Peterborough’s southern perimeter, which will eventually have 7,300 homes, already has 2,000 homes occupied and a further two years’ supply of housing land has been sold. A large-scale residential scheme for 900 homes is well advanced at the former British Sugar factory site off Oundle Road in Woodston. Other major housing developments are earmarked for Potters Way (550 homes), Paston Reserve (1,200 homes) and South Stanground (1,500 homes).

The Local Transport Plan anticipates expenditure totalling around £180 million for the period up to 2010 is needed on major road schemes. The plan aims to balance good accessibility by car with the promotion of attractive and safe sustainable options, such as walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.

The city council is also pursuing policies to encourage the development of more ‘knowledge-based’ businesses in the city. Approval has been granted for the construction of an innovation centre that will offer an 'incubator' environment for up to 90 innovative businesses.

Another priority for the city council is to drive up the educational achievement and, as a result, the career opportunities, of local youngsters. Investment totalling £164 million, includes the construction of the £46 million Thomas Deacon Academy that will cater for 2,200 secondary pupils when it opens in September 2007 – replacing three existing schools. A further £68 million is being invested in the construction of a new secondary school – The Voyager – at Walton, which will replace two other secondary schools, and extensions to Jack Hunt and Ken Stimpson schools.

Peterborough City Council Deputy Leader Councillor John Peach said: “All these developments indicate that Peterborough has ambitious growth aspirations and the capacity to accommodate substantial expansion. It is a great city in which to live, providing an excellent location for business and the city council is making significant progress in attaining its aspirations for Peterborough to become a bigger, better city.”

April 2006




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