Category Archives: Housing developments

Parish Council may run deficit

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Thorney Parish Council is struggling to balance the books this year and may be faced with an overspend of up to £27,000, depending when payments fall due.

Monday’s Parish Council meeting heard that a range of commitments meant the council may have to draw on reserves and the village could face a rise in its precept – the first in many years – in the new year.

Work being funded includes:

:: Extension to cemetery, drainage, landscaping, fencing and hedge/tree planting.

:: Heritage-style street lights for Church Street and Abbey Place.

:: Contribution to play equipment in the park.

:: Legal charges.

:: Roadworks to reduce the pinch-point in Wisbech Road.

:: Grant for structural survey of Bedford Hall.

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People on the new Thorney Meadows estate are considering setting up a residents’ association and already have their own Facebook page.

Stuart Francis and Helen Baker attended the meeting to ask if the Parish Council could help put pressure on Larkfleet Homes, the estate developer, to finish work on the park, play area and finishing roads and pavements.

Mr Francis said residents were anxious for the park and play area to be completed before winter, otherwise it would not be ready for use before next summer. All the homes are now occupied and residents want to see roads and pavements finished and no more trucks driving about.

Ray Wood said he hoped Larkfleet would resurface Woburn Drive and perhaps that could be done at the same time as the estate roads.

The Council agreed to write to Larkfleet asking them about progress.

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There has been no further progress on Bedford Hall, with Peterborough City Council sitting on a number of actions, it was reported.

Thorney Parish Council has agreed in principle to fund an independent full structural survey and viability study through a grant offered by the Architectural Heritage Fund. This would match funding 50:50 up to a limit of £15,000.

The Council is getting a list of companies able to undertake the work to start a tender process. This is expected to take about six to nine months to complete.

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A decision on whether to spend Parish Council money on new road name plates in an antique style for Church Street and Abbey Place has been deferred.

Church Street resident John Richardson, who has been campaigning for the signs, said seven would be needed and funding had been secured for three of those. The name plates would be white on black and would have the appearance of being cast iron.

Plates would be sited at ground floor level (some are currently much higher) and those on posts would be secured to walls or buildings.

He promised to report back with prices at the next meeting.

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Peterborough City Council was accused of doing a shoddy job of resurfacing pavements along Sandpit Road, Smithfield and Park Close.

Claudine Lewis said tar had been splashed up people’s walls and the green on Smithfield had been hacked up – it looked dreadful.

Nigel Simons agreed. He’d been to look at the work and said he wasn’t impressed. He said he would take it up with the City Council.

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The Parish Council has asked for a “SLOW” sign to be painted on the road along Whittlesey Road where the 30mph limited has been extended.

Dorothy Halfhide said 20mph speed limit signs by the school were contradictory. There were speed limit signs, but another sign stating times the limit was in operation. It was in force all the time.

Margaret Long said one of the 40mph signs as you enter Nene Terrace had fallen off.

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A planning application to convert a house on Dairy Drove into a children’s home has been withdrawn.

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The Parish Council is to raise the poor state of Green Drove and Whittlesey Road with the City Council. Margaret Long said there was a huge crack in the middle of the road on Green Drove, with the surface crumbling, between Sly’s yard and the pumping station. Ken Parish said he’d had numerous complaints about the state of Whittlesey Road.

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There are now only two vacant plots at Thorney allotments. Samantha Godley said, sadly, there had been hardcore and household rubbish dumped on the site and on the field approaching the site.

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The level-crossing gates at the entrance to Kingsline Close are rotten and will have to be replaced.

The gates were to be repainted, but have been found to be too rotten. They were put there by the developers as a planning requirement when the estate was built and mark the site of the old level crossing on Station Road.

The Parish Council is to get an estimate for their repair and may have to take them down. There was a suggestion from resident Helen Baker that the work might be undertaken by inmates of the prison as a skills project. She promised to try to get some information.

Dorothy Halfhide said the gates should be retained and it was important to recognise that the railway had run through there.

The gates are not original. When the development took place, the builders found the original gates had rotted and had the current ones built using the original ironwork. The concrete posts are also original.

The Parish Council is also to inspect the village signs after reports that some of them may be suffering from rot.

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Additional Parish Council noticeboards may be sited in the village near Thorney Food Stores and opposite the school.

Meanwhile, the council’s Facebook page has attracted 132 people, with posts seen by an average of 115 people.

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Ken Parish suggested Thorney might purchase one of the life-size Tommy silhouettes being sold to raise funds for service charities. The council will contact the Royal British legion to discuss the idea.

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Canary Cottage (pictured), the old farm-workers home, sited on Knarr Fen to the east of Thorney, may become a listed building, it was reported.

Dorothy Halfhide said English Heritage were considering whether it should be listed after discovering it was much older than first thought.

She said it was one of very few mud construction buildings with thatched roofs to survive.

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Thorney now has seven trained Speedwatch volunteers and six more waiting for training.

Organiser Sam Godley reported that more speed surveys had been carried out in Station Road with five vehicles caught speeding – one at 39mph.

She said Woburn Drive had been added to their survey sites and they would also be checking speed of vehicles leaving the village on The Causeway.

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The Parish Council is to write to the City Council urging them to clean up the alleyway between St Mary’s Close and Sandpit Road.

The walk-way is overgrown with residents’ hedges and weeds.

 

Work starts next year on new housing estate

Work on building 91 new homes at Park Farm, Thorney is likely to start next year.

The new estate already has planning permission and will sit at the top end of Sandpit Road.

It is likely that Larkfleet Homes, which built Thorney Meadows estate, will be the developer.

Access is not via Sandpit Road, a new road will be built off Wisbech Road at the eastern end of the village.

Landowner, Michael Sly, says tree planting will start on the field alongside the new road this autumn and work should start on the road and houses some time next year.

Golf Club holiday lodges can be built

Thorney Lakes Lodges
Peterborough City council has approved a planning application from the owners of Thorney Lakes Golf Club to build 17 holiday lodges on the site.
The application had been opposed by Thorney Parish Council on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided and was also recommended for refused by the city council’s planning department.
However, the council’s planning committee decided to approve the application.
Parish Council chairman, John Bartlett attended the planning committee meeting and expressed concerns about the plans.
The development can now proceed. The lodges will be sold as holiday accommodation only, permanent residency will not be allowed.

Plans for four executive homes off The Causeway

Causeway Lodge

Rose Homes of Whittlesey has applied for planning permission to demolish Causeway Lodge Farm and associated buildings and build three executive homes.

The company also wants to convert a barn on the site into a fourth home.

The site, on the left-hand side as you enter the village from Peterborough direction, has been derelict for a number of years.

The development would also involve the construction of an access road off The Causeway.

Thorney Parish Council has not objected to the proposals and Dorothy Halfhide said they had to recognise that both the main farmhouse and the cottage are beyond repair.

“I think the proposed buildings look good, and I am very pleased to see that the orchard is largely retained,” she said.

Housing site opposed by Parish Council

Housing site

Another new housing estate has been proposed in the village, but it has already met with opposition from the Parish Council.

Fields between the windmill and the bypass have been suggested to Peterborough City Council as suitable for building 115 new homes.

This followed four tranches of land in and around the village being suggested last year. Of those, only one – a section of land between Larkfleet’s Thorney Meadows estate and the approved Park Farm development – has been accepted as suitable.

The city council had asked landowners to put forward development land in the area as part of its Draft Local Plan, which aims to meet Peterborough’s housing and employment needs through to 2036.

The first set of suggestions has all been assessed, but more came through during the summer, along with a number of sites with revised proposals. These will be assessed before November and the final Local Plan will be adopted in autumn 2018.

Currently farmland, the new site in Thorney comprises 6.16 hectares and it is suggested that 115 houses could be built there. The land includes a section between the windmill and old garden centre, which could be used as access onto The Causeway. Its eastern border adjoins gardens of houses in Chestnut Drive, Ash Close and Berberis Close.

Thorney Parish Council considered the suitability of the new site at its July meeting and voted to reject it on the following grounds:

  • It is in the high-flood-risk zone.
  • The site is best retained as greenfield, agricultural land.
  • The quota for new housing in the village has more than adequately been met.
  • Existing infrastructure is not capable of meeting the demands of additional development. There is insufficient water pressure at the new Woburn Drive development and, in particular, a concern that the village school may not have sufficient capacity.

The Parish Council said if further development in the village was needed in the future, they would support the site between Whittlesey Road and the Larkfleet estate, which the city council has previously rejected.

There are some very big new sites submitted in other parts of the city. One near Castor proposes 2,500 dwellings. There are two sites in Newborough and a couple in Eye.

More village land put forward for housing

Housing site

Another new housing estate has been proposed in the village.

Fields between the windmill and the bypass have been suggested to Peterborough City Council as suitable for building 115 new homes.

This followed four tranches of land in and around the village being suggested last year. Of those, only one has been accepted as suitable.

The city council had asked landowners to put forward development land in the area as part of its Draft Local Plan, which aims to meet Peterborough’s housing and employment needs through to 2036.

The first set of suggestions have all been assessed, but more came through during the summer, along with a number of sites with revised proposals. These will be assessed before November and the final Local Plan will be adopted in autum 2018.

Currently farmland, the new site in Thorney comprises 6.16 hectares and it is suggested that 115 houses could be built there. The land includes a section between the windmill and old garden centre, which could be used as access onto The Causeway. Its eastern border adjoins gardens of houses in Chestnut Drive, Ash Close and Berberis Close.

Thorney Parish council objected to two of the four sites proposed last year on the grounds they were on low-lying land to the north and east of the village that was high flood risk. This latest land falls into the same category and may well be rejected on that basis.

The parish council also feels that with planning permission already approved for around 150 unbuilt homes, the village is near to the total number of new houses it can reasonably accommodate.

There are some very big new sites submitted in other parts of the city. One near Castor proposes 2,500 dwellings. There are two sites in Newborough and a couple in Eye.

 

Three-quarters of homes on new estate already sold

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Almost three-quarters of the homes on the new Thorney Meadows estate have been sold.

Adrian Evans, group managing director of the developers Larkfleet Homes, told the Thorney Post that the homes had sold incredibly quickly.

“I think it is a combination of things – the site location, the design of the houses and the village itself.

“Thorney is a very desirable location, a lot of people want to live here,” he said.

Mr Evans was speaking at the official opening of a showhouse on the new estate (pictured), which will be open seven days a week 10am to 5pm.

There are just 25 homes left to sell out of 80 on the estate and 14 homes are already occupied. All homes are timber-framed with gas installed and come with 1kw solar panels installed.

Room for only one more housing estate, city council told

Thorney can only accommodate one new housing development, the Parish Council has told city planners.

It has thrown its weight behind just one of the four developments proposed in Peterborough City Council’s consultation document on new homes in the area.

Two of these were rejected because they lie within land designated as flood plain and a third site – on land between Whittlesey Road and the new Larkfleet estate – has been rejected by the city council because of previous objections raised by English Heritage.

The remaining site is located between the Larkfleet estate and Park Farm, which already has planning permission for housing. It could see another 80 homes added to the village.

The full response of the Parish Council is detailed below:

COMMENTS ON PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL
DRAFT LOCAL PLAN SITE ALLOCATIONS

Four sites have been proposed for residential development in the Parish of Thorney.

Three of these have been rejected by the City Council and one has been placed in the Preferred Site category.

The general view of the Parish Council is that, with the housing development sites that are under construction together with those that already have planning approval, we are probably close to the total number of dwellings that the parish can reasonably accommodate.

This view seems to be supported by the City Council’s opinion that developing more than your single preferred site would constitute over-development of the village. Our comments on each of the proposed sites are as follows:

SITE: THO001H This is rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain and we see no reason to contest that view.

SITE: THO002H This site is also rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain. Regardless of this we feel that housing in this location would be inappropriate as it would destroy the rural setting of the village. It is also too close to the heavily trafficked Thorney bypass.

SITE: THO003H/Hi When this site was proposed in the previous Site Allocation procedure several years ago, it was rated by the City Council as a Preferred Site. It was English Heritage that raised objections to it and although the independent Inspector did not cite these objections, he objected to it on the grounds of the access road from the Whittlesey Road and the site was rejected. At the time the Parish Council supported development of this site and did not agree with the comments made by English Heritage. We were aware from the developer that the proposals would include a number of grander, detached, up-market dwellings in keeping with the scale and quality of existing properties in the vicinity, and we felt this housing type was needed in the village. It remains a belief that this higher grade of property is still required rather than just the regular scale and density of typical housing development. The City Council have this time rejected the site for exactly the reasons previously put forward by English Heritage. The primary reason being that it is too close to the Conservation Area of the village. As an aside, this site offers the possibility of the construction of a road across the south side of the village linking the Whittlesey Road with the Wisbech Road at the far end of the village. This may be desirable to residents as its advantages would be to reduce the impact of new development traffic through the village on the Wisbech Road and to perhaps change the use of the Woburn Drive access to the new development to emergency vehicles only. If not on this occasion, perhaps this site can be kept under consideration for future development and the other benefits it could bring.

Thorney Plan

Site THO-005 – gets the approval of the Parish Council

SITE: THO005H This site is rated as Preferred by the City Council. It will infill between the housing being built at the end of Woburn Drive and site THO006H which has already been granted Outline Planning Approval. We have no objections to the development of this site other than to raise concerns about the ability of existing infrastructure to accommodate its development with particular reference to drainage and sewerage, but also to the additional demands on the village school and the increase of traffic through the village. In this respect, we would be grateful for sight of the correspondence between yourselves and Anglia Water and the Duke of Bedford School demonstrating that both are able to accommodate the extra demands of this additional site.

SITE: THO006H To our knowledge this site already has Outline Planning Permission.

GENERAL:

  1. Apart from the concerns stated in our comments on Site THO005H we believe that any additional development should bring with it control of traffic speeding through the village in the form of re-instating the speed cameras that at one time were in place along the Wisbech Road.
  2. We also feel strongly that the overall amount of new development in the parish, including Preferred Site THO005H, demands that greater concern is shown by the City Council toward the provision of facilities for the youth of the village. This is already less than adequate and in need of urgent review and improvement. We believe that in authorising development sites and approving planning applications the City Council has an obligation to make provision for matters resulting from their decisions, a major one of which will be the increase in the number of youths in the Parish and the need to provide appropriate facilities for them.

Work to start soon on Woburn Drive housing development

Larkfleet

Work is expected to start on the new housing development off Woburn Drive in March or April this year.

A spokesman for developer Larkfleet Homes said the company did not get the approval of final planning details as quickly as they expected and the purchase of the site was delayed.

However, the sale went through last week. The company says it will now focus on the discharge of the remaining planning conditions and expects to commence work in March or April.

Thorney Parish Council has asked about access following concern over increased traffic using Woburn Drive and Larkfleet has confirmed it will be using this route.

Details of Sandpit Road homes announced

Developers have released the design and access statement relating to the new housing development planned for Sandpit Road.

The statement sets out how many homes will be built, the general plan of the estate and also access and landscaping plans.

They have not yet applied for planning permission and at that stage, more detailed plans will be submitted.

You can read the full document here.

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