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Peterborough Civic Society comments on Northminster plans

Northminster’s potential new development is “dominant,” the Peterborough Civic Society said.

And the group, which seeks to safeguard Peterborough’s heritage, says removing the market would harm “vitally important aspects of downtown planning and regeneration.”

He said the plan should be refused on a number of grounds, including a lack of parking for potential residents and no mention of the future of the market, unlike LP6 in the local plan.

A town planning application was submitted to council last month by the Peterborough Investment Partnership (PIP), after consultation, to demolish the town’s market and build 335 residential units.

There will also be two commercial units on the ground floor and a one-story catering pavilion, parking space and, if approved, the amount of free and open public space would increase by 65%.

But the plan, which will be 12 stories tall at its highest point, is viewed as controversial by market traders, nearby residents and some readers of Peterborough Matters.

In a response submitted by the company to the plans, Peterborough Civic Society spokesperson Kem Mehmed said: “An above ground parking lot has been opened (100 spaces) but the overall loss of around 650 spaces and the units Retail sales have significantly reduced pedestrian activity here and damaged the vitality of the Northminster area.

“The permanent removal of the market would exacerbate this situation, and if the market were closed before a replacement site was operational, a significant blow to the viability and vitality of the city center would be likely to be suffered.”

Another concern was the “dominant scale” of the proposal compared to neighboring buildings, and “even Bayard Place and the ABC (embassy) cinema are overshadowed by it,” Mehmed said.

“The volume of the building is of particular concern. Not only is it taller than any other building nearby and seven stories taller than the recommended maximum, but it stretches 100 meters north to south and 60 meters east to Where is.”

The nearly 40m tall building is said to be 10 meters taller than the roof of the cathedral nave, although the response indicates that the council “chose to dismiss this concern when it decided to approve the block of eight floors of the Solstice, which is a real pushover compared to this one. “.

The company has calculated that the site could be about twice as dense as the four residential blocks at Fletton Quays.

And he said he envisions problems for those wishing to park to watch events at the New Theater if a show sells out, now that the 750-seat multi-story parking lot has been removed and temporarily replaced.

Mr Mehmed said: “The proposed 50-space parking lot is for development residents and their visitors. At an occupancy rate of, say, two people per apartment, which equates to 670 people, the vast majority of whom are will be adults.

“It is not credible that 50 places are enough, and we must assume that dozens, even a few hundred, will look for a place to park a car not too far away.

“All residential conversions near offices to apartments and the approved Solstice program include a generous on-site parking offer. The closest public parking lots to the site are at Brook Street and New Road, which together have 285 spaces. In a recent survey, the average number of vacancies turned out to be four. ”

Howard Bright, Senior Director of Development at PIP, said at the time: “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, as well as improved public space and more green space that the community can enjoy in this part of downtown.

“Following our public consultation, all comments provided were taken into account in finalizing our plans. We understand the concerns of the local community regarding the future of the City of Peterborough market and have forwarded any specific inquiries to Peterborough City Council for response.

“The other main point of feedback was about the height of the building. After careful consideration, we have reduced the proposed number of residential units from about 355 to about 330, reducing the east wing by two storeys from the 12 storeys originally proposed.

“We are delighted to have taken another step forward 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 be submitted to the committee later this year.


Few people dispute the fact that the neighborhood is now quite run down and seen as a key part of downtown revitalization.

Last week the Solstice – which received the building permit for demolition – re-applied for its permit which will come into effect in September, while in addition Coyotes and 2020 World Buffet will soon be joined on New Road by a nightclub by the name of Rhythm Rooms.

But Peterborough MP Paul Bristow wants more progress and yesterday shared details of a letter he wrote to Deputy Local Government Minister Luke Hall to raise the issue of funding.

The letter says: “As you know, your department has taken a program-by-program approach to providing an affordable housing subsidy to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, following some concerns about the housing program.

“I am concerned about the proposed Northminster regeneration plan. This historic part of Peterborough is in urgent need of regeneration and investment. I have met with Peterborough City Council Chief Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald on this issue and he shares my impatience to get the ball rolling with this proposal.

“The development offers the opportunity to provide affordable housing on site for young professionals, key workers and low-income people. My constituents deserve this housing opportunity, which government funding can make possible. The CPCA has asked £ 14million for Arangez to make this happen.

“The Northminster redevelopment is being proposed by Peterborough City Council. The head of the council is also committed to securing a new future and a new location for the city’s market.


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