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Northminster regeneration plans submitted: what's included - and what's not?

Plans for the Northminster regeneration project have been submitted to Peterborough City Council, with 335 residential properties but no room for the market.
Northminster regeneration 2
An aerial view of the proposed plans

A planning application was submitted to the council on July 27 by Peterborough Investment Partnership (PIP), following extensive consultation.

It states the intention to demolish the city market to further the development of 335 residential units, two ground floor commercial units and a single-storey food pavilion. There will also be space for car parking and substations, as well as landscaping, and if approved, the amount of public realm space would grow by 65%.

The residencies will follow a build to rent model, with rent set 20% lower than the local market rates. There will be one, two, and three bedroom flats, with 87% single-storey and 13% multi-storey, and approximately 50 car parking spaces will be provided.


Stakeholders and nearby residents were consulted via post on the plans, and more than 400 filled in an online survey with their thoughts. 

One of the major concerns is the future of Peterborough City Market, and data from the consultation showed that while 53.79% of respondents support the regeneration of Northminster in general, 67% of respondents do not support the development being proposed by PIP, with 83% of these citing the need to relocate the city market as a reason.

However if the respondents who mentioned the market as part of their feedback for not supporting the proposal and those were not sure are removed, the figures show 56 responding yes, 49 responding no and 25 stating they were unsure.

Residents also submitted 16 emails or voicemails, commenting on the market, concerns about retail and parking, the height of the proposed buildings, and preservation of the area's history.

Respondents were also asked what the key benefits area of regenerating this area of Peterborough would be, and  the top response was ‘boosting the local economy’ (212 respondents), followed by ‘boosting the local community’ (162 respondents).

There was also a 'free text' box in the survey, for any suggested alternatives for the area, and 45 respondents mentioned upgrading and maintaining Peterborough market. Others emphasised the need to support local independent businesses/traders, or moving the market to a retail/ commercial centre.

Respondents were asked whether they had any suggestions about how the proposal could be improved, and of 354 respondents to that question 156 said that the market must be included in plans, in a new location if necessary.

 

NorthMediumResAn artist's impression of the area

The plan states that consideration has been given to the heritage assets within close proximity of the site, including Peterscourt and the Cathedral. For example, the design has been reduced in height so as not to be taller than the central tower height of the Cathedral.

At its tallest, the development will be 12 storeys, but a gradual ‘stepping back’ will see it reduce to two-storeys as it expands towards Laxton Square. Roof terraces are proposed where the buildings step back.

The open space of Laxton Square will be improved and used for outdoor events, exhibitions and markets. This will be the location of the 1,075 sq ft food and drink pavilion.

It is also hoped that creating a greener space will mean that the "site can play a key link in the creation of a city green loop" including Stanley Recreation Ground, the Cathedral grounds and the Embankment.

The planning statement identifies no additional transport impacts, flood risks or air quality changes.

A Heritage Impact Assessment concluded that although there would be some effects that could “result in a minor adverse effect to the setting of the Cathedral … the proposal results in a low level of less than substantial harm”.

The PIP statement concludes that the regeneration will:

  • Bring major economic benefits for the city
  • Significantly improve upon the present low quality buildings and public realm
  • Introduce a significant number of new residents into the city centre
  • Deliver a mix of different sized properties
  • Deliver an affordable scheme that meets demand and enhances housing opportunities for a wider spectrum of people
  • Develop a brownfield site.

Howard Bright, principal development manager at PIP, said: “We see the redevelopment of Northminster as a fantastic opportunity to bring a new identity to this part of the city. Our ambition is to provide high-quality housing, together with enhanced public realm and more green space for the community to enjoy in this part of the city centre.

“Following our public consultation, all feedback provided has been considered in the finalisation of our plans. We understand the local community’s concerns about Peterborough City Market’s future and have passed all specific enquiries on to Peterborough City Council for their response.

“The other main area of feedback was around the building’s height. After careful consideration, we have reduced the proposed number of residential units from around 355 to around 330, reducing the East wing by two storeys from the twelve storeys first proposed.

“We’re delighted to hit another milestone in the project, having submitted our planning application on Friday, July 23, 2021. We look forward to continuing to work with Peterborough City Council and expect the proposal to go to committee later this year.”