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18:20 on Wednesday
16 June 2004

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Peterborough could be major growth area 

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Peterborough could be a major area for future development of housing and industry, the chairman of national regeneration agency English Partnerships told the city's property professionals.
Speaking at a meeting of Greater Peterborough Investment Agency's Property Forum which brings together local property agents, landowners and developers Margaret Ford said:

"The government has identified four major growth areas one of which is the Cambridge-Stansted corridor which begins just a few miles from Peterborough. However, there are considerable complexities involved in development along that corridor and it will inevitably take time to develop.

"If Peterborough can offer readily available scope for development, the government may consider expanding the boundaries of its target growth area."

(Left to right) Tony Barker (chairman, Property Forum), Gloria Milne (chief executive, Greater Peterborough Investment Agency), Margaret Ford (chairman, English Partnerships) and Dennis Hone (executive director, English Partnerships) outside Peterborough Town Hall.

Ms Ford said that Peterborough would need to "make a case" to secure this type of development status but added: "If you decide this is what you want, I will be speaking up for Peterborough."

Her comments were part of a presentation to the Property Forum in which she described the changing role of English Partnerships which is now increasingly focused on development of housing and of brownfield land. It also has considerable land holdings in former New Towns and elsewhere which it wants to bring forward for development.

"We need to step up the pace of development," she said. "As an organisation, we need to act faster and more commercially."

English Partnerships owns around 400 hectares of land in Peterborough. The majority of this is not currently in development plans but around 40 hectares has been allocated for industrial and commercial development.

Dennis Hone, executive director of English Partnerships, told the Property Forum: "Peterborough remains high on our agenda not primarily because of the land holdings we have here but because it is a significant regional centre."

English Partnerships and the East of England Development Agency are working closely with the city council on the development of a master plan for the city centre although English Partnerships actually owns no land in the city centre itself.

June 2003




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