Two planning proposals have been outlined for 140 new homes to be built in a small village in Peterborough. Helpston residents have raised a number of concerns following the potential plans and say “tThe village cannot bear it”.
David Wilson Homes proposed the construction of 80 new homes in Helpston and Cross Keys Homes proposed the construction of a further 60 homes, for a total of 140 homes in the small village of Peterborough. The total is almost double the number of houses described in the local plan for Helpston.
Plans for David Wilson Homes’ 80 new homes off Broad Wheel Road in Helpston have been outlined but have not yet been officially submitted to the planning portal. They are expected to be filed on the planning portal by the end of May with a decision expected by fall 2022.
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As a result of the proposed plans, a village action group was formed where the concerns of the two planning proposals were raised by the villagers. One of the village action group leaders, Claire Spooner, said: “We have more information on Broad Wheel Road, so we think we can challenge that further.”
Challenging David Wilson Homes’ 80 new homes, Claire shared some of the villagers’ concerns and said: ‘The village is very much in agreement that people need a place to live, but it’s getting worse. is about the concerns of the village, the impact it will have on the village and the infrastructure within it”.
“There is a whole series of problems that we are trying to solve,” adds Claire. Through the action group, they try to “ensure that the village gets the best result if it goes ahead”, explains Claire.
The action group is in communication with David Wilson Homes and other consultants. Resident actions are also underway for the 60 new homes offered by Cross Keys Homes.
“The school is already full”
One of the main concerns raised by a number of residents of Helpston relates to the small primary school which is currently full. Explaining this, Claire said: “Local parents who have younger children are really worried about not enrolling their children in school.
“If you have a brother or sister at school, you have priority, if not, the closer you are to the school, you will have priority over people who might be in the village For more than 20 years. Claire adds: “It will be people in the new properties, they will have priority because they are closer to the school”.
Claires says no investment is planned in the school either. Another resident explains that the school “will stop taking people from further afield” and “will not accept people from outside the village”.
Barry and Rachel Morton said, “The school is already full and there’s a little corner store.”
Jennifer Clarke added: “They are not providing what the village needs. We have a pub, a small shop, a small school”.
“Nowhere for teenagers to go”
With new development potentially making its way to Helpston, the villagers want something to be ‘put back into the village’. Currently, the village has no place for teenagers to go with their friends, apart from the school playground, which closes around 8 p.m.
“The village teenagers have nowhere to go in this village,” Claire said. “There’s only one lighted bench they can sit on and that’s outside the store,” Claire added.
Jennifer Clarke adds: ‘There’s nowhere for teenagers to go’
Perry, a resident of Helpston, said: ‘I don’t think they’re really willing to do anything for the area and there’s not much to go back to.
Adding: “If they built houses and made a change, I wouldn’t mind at all, everyone needs a place to live and that’s not the problem.”
“The village can’t handle this”
Another key factor of concern raised by residents is the population of the village. Claire explains that the houses have gone from around 360 houses in 2000 to around 523 houses in 2022.
If both plans for David Wilson Homes and Cross Keys Homes are approved, it will bring 140 new homes to the village. Claire said, “What will happen if we are not careful, we will stop being a small village and become a medium-sized village that we could continue to build and build.”
Jennifer Clarke said: “I’m not against having more houses, but there are just too many”.
“The village can’t handle it,” Jonathan Williams said.
“We moved to the village a year ago because we wanted to be in a village, but if they go further it will push the limits of a town and then they will add as many houses as they want” , Jonathan adds. .
Resident Barry Morton said: ‘It will take away the village vibe.
“It won’t be a village anymore and that’s one of the reasons we bought here.”
A spokesperson for David Wilson Homes Cambridgeshire said: ‘The land in Broad Wheel Road, Helpston is earmarked for housing in the Peterborough local plan. Our proposal is for a development of 80 new high quality homes, including 24 affordable properties, to provide part of the Council’s housing allowance.
“We have engaged with local authorities and residents and will continue to consider their feedback before submitting a development application.
“As part of the proposed development, we aim to improve the local area by making financial contributions to infrastructure and public services such as education, healthcare facilities and transport. We will also be looking to provide a new open community public space which will include a children’s play area.
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “Although the site is earmarked for residential development in the local plan, no planning application has yet been submitted for the site.
“Any applications for future planning will be assessed on their own merits and determined by the City Council’s planning committee. If this occurs, one of the items the committee will consider is the design/safety of any access to Broad Wheel Lane and all related works proposed by the plaintiff at Broad Wheel Lane itself.
Cross Keys Homes New Business Development Manager Gary Norman said: ‘We are in the very early stages of discussing a housing scheme with the Peterborough City Council planning team regarding a site near West Street in Helpston, and we will be working on an official planning presentation in due course.
“We are in dialogue with the parish council and are aware that an action group has been formed. We will also keep the local community informed of our discussions. The majority of the site we are pursuing is allocated under the local plan and Barrett David Wilson will submit a separate planning request for the remainder. Site density is one of the areas we will be discussing with planners.
“There is a requirement in the local plan that states the need for a comprehensive master plan for this site, and we are currently working with Barrett David Wilson to complete it, while meeting the usual infrastructure requirements.”
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