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Council: Land transfers at Embankment should be part of masterplan

Peterborough City Council has agreed that any future transfers of land on the Embankment of the River Nene should be subject to either public consultation or be part of an Embankment masterplan.
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The Embankment from above. Photo: Terry Harris

A proposal, put forward by Cllr Nick Sandford, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group on the council, requested that land owned by the council on the Embankment  is not slowly ‘chipped away’ at until nothing is left.

Addressing members of the Full Council at their online meeting (21 October), Cllr Sanford said: “The Council should approve an amendment of the Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan to take account of the proposed transfer of this land to the special purpose joint venture vehicle, but requires that any further transfers of land should only happen following publication of and public consultation on a masterplan for the whole embankment area.”

The matter has been addressed following the announcement  of a feasibility study commissioned to determine the future use of land on the embankment, and the riverside area other than that proposed by the University of Peterborough project.

The long-term ambition is to open up the city’s underutilised and underused riverside frontage which is also the proposed site of the new Peterborough United stadium.

Other considerations include nightclubs, riverside bars, space for the annual beer festival and places to enjoy outdoor events.

Cllr Wiggin said: “We cannot and must not give a green light to transfer council-owned open space without a masterplan that can be debated upon.”

Leader of the Council, Cllr John Holdich, while supportive of the initial proposal said: “The amendment from Cllr Sandford makes no mention of the future site of the stadium for Peterborough United Football Club, much less anything to do with the beer festival, nightclubs or any other riverside additions.

“At this time, we’re only discussing the use of the car park for the University of Peterborough main building which is Phase One of that project; Phase Two will be the Research & Development block, while Phase Three will be built on the Bishop’s Road car park.

“These proposals have been around for nearly twelve months now and I’m supportive of them as they don’t materially affect the progress of the University of Peterborough project, but this has nothing to do with green areas, either embankment of the River Nene or the surrounding areas – these are issues for another day.”

Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald agreed, adding: “The public should be consulted on the future use of the embankment land, but it is not a well-used area, and not very attractive at the moment.

“The use of the land for multi-purpose projects such as the football stadium, concerts, nightclubs and the beer festival must be done sympathetically and the use of the green space should have a masterplan that works for residents and for the better use of the riverfront, otherwise all else is simply speculation until planning applications are received.”

Full council agreed that any future consideration of council owned land on the embankment area of the river Nene should be part of an area-wide masterplan.