Cambridgeshire

Peterborough City Council gives go-ahead for 20,500 homes

More than 20,000 homes will be built in and around Peterborough by 2026, the Conservative city council has agreed.

Earlier this year, an independent report from the planning inspectorate said the council's site allocations development plan document was "sound".

The plan identifies 80 sites around the city for development.

Peter Heath-Brown, the council's planning policy manager, said the plan's purpose was to address infrastructure problems.

He said: "If you get a plan in place, all the other providers, whether it's Anglian Water, or the Environment Agency, or the Highways Agency, can respond to what's in the plan."

Marco Cereste, the Conservative leader of the council, said he was pleased the plans had been approved.

"It's extremely important. A way forward in these difficult economic times is to grow jobs, as well as a housing base, and it clearly shows a ringing endorsement from the planning inspector of the council's housing plans."

Affordable housing

The leader of the Liberal Democrats in Peterborough, councillor Nick Sandford, said the council was signing up to "crazy housing targets".

He said: "We need to build a certain amount of houses in Peterborough, but what we need is a gradual progression and sensible house-building."

Keith Sharp for the Independents said he was in favour of more house-building, provided sufficient affordable housing was included.

He said: "We've got loads and loads of business here, and need houses to cope with that, but we also need a good amount of affordable housing and that's what isn't being shown fully in this programme "

Fiona Radic, from the city's Green Party, said the plan was a "major missed opportunity" to rethink Peterborough's economy.

She said: "Builders and developers are incredibly important... but with the best will in the world, they alone could not provide the principal let alone the mainstay of the city's economy."

The leader of the Labour party in Peterborough, Nazim Khan, and Robin Talbot from UKIP have yet to respond.

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