Shailesh Vara MP has spoken out about plans to include land to the west of Peterborough in a revised Local Plan.

Mr Vara, who is the MP for North West Cambridgeshire, raised his concerns in the House of Commons this week at the Prime Minister's questions.

Mr Vara made reference to a previous attempt to build nearly 7,000 houses near the villages of Castor and Ailsworth, against the wishes of local residents.

He said that at the time, working with the local community, together they were able to stop the development from going ahead.

However, Mr Vara went on to say that “efforts are now being made to include this land in a revised Peterborough Local Plan” and it is “very important that the voice of the local community is heard”.

He added: "It is unacceptable that developments can take place in this circuitous way, especially when there is other more suitable land available in and around the city of Peterborough."

In his reply, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commended Mr Vara for his support for his local community and he agreed that the local community should have its voice heard.

The Prime Minister added “It’s important that councils bring forward Local Plans, but this must be done in close consultation with local communities, because their views matter.”

Following PMQs, Mr Vara said that previous attempts to build on this “beautiful” land had been defeated and he will work closely with local residents to prevent the area from being included in the new Plan.

He added “We have had this fight once before, and it is very disappointing that those in favour of these thousands of houses are determined to press on, despite massive local opposition.

“I will be fighting alongside the local residents to ensure that this land remains unspoilt and is not included in a revised Local Plan.”

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: "The Local Plan is at an early stage, and we welcome the publicity provided by our MPs.

"The sites that have been put to us, by landowners and developers, are currently being rigorously assessed for their suitability.

"The parish councils, as well as PCC and our MPs, all have an important role to play in engaging with local people, as the plan progresses to the next public consultation in late summer.

At this time, no decisions have been made about any of that land that is being promoted for development."