Effective delivery of strategic sites: Peterborough

The Core Strategy included a single criteria-based one-page policy (CS5) for the two urban extensions, cross referring to other district-wide policy requirements and without any plans other than the proposals map which showed the site boundary.   


Fact file

Type – strategic urban extension (greenfield) 

Local Planning Authority – Peterborough City Council (PCC) 

Landowner – O&H (majority, freehold), Marlborough Developments (option), Barratt Strategic (option) 

Promoter / Developer - Great Haddon Consortium (members as above) 

Scale – residential-led, 5,350 homes (adjacent to an established new community of 8,000 new homes at The Hamptons now nearing completion)  

Strategic infrastructure requirements – junction improvements (motorway/A roads, reconfigured A15 to provide local ‘bypass’), three primary schools, one secondary school  

Other key uses - district centre, local centres, sports facilities, multi-use community centre, leisure centre, cemetery  

Status – Outline Planning Approval 2018, pre-commencement works underway 

Key application reference: PCC 09/01368/OUT 


Allocation and policy  

A broad area which included the site was identified as an opportunity for strategic growth in the Peterborough Sub-Regional Study (Nov 2003), reinforced through the RSS for the East of England (2008).  

Following the abolition of the RSSs, although the site was not specifically allocated in the 2005 Local Plan, as strategic growth in this location was supported, work commenced on an early planning application in tandem with the preparation of the Peterborough Core Strategy, an approach wholly supported by the council.   

Great Haddon was identified as one of two urban extensions in the LDF Preferred Options (May 2008) and an application was submitted in November 2009, prior to the EIP in 2010 and adoption of the Core Strategy in Feb 2011. 

The Core Strategy included a single criteria-based one-page policy (CS5) for the two urban extensions, cross referring to other district-wide policy requirements and without any plans other than the proposals map which showed the site boundary.   


Outline planning application 

No specific policy requirement was needed to submit a single outline application.  However, policy required comprehensive masterplanning, planning and implementation.   

The site design and masterplan was ‘ownership blind’, and a single application and environmental impact assessment for the whole site was prepared and submitted on behalf of the three promoters in November 2009.   

The application included a suite of eight parameter plans to a common format – Development Framework, Primary Movement Network, Public Transport Network, Pedestrian/Cycle/Equestrian Routes, Density, Building Heights, Open Space, Landscape Framework - all approved as formal plans.  


Engagement and consultation  

Because of the scale of development, the consortium organised a ‘Stakeholder Conference’ in November 2007, well in advance of a confirmed local plan allocation or preparation of the application. Designed to help shape input to the design and nature of the scheme, the half day conference included a wide range of service providers, statutory and local organisations who would not usually be involved prior to receiving an application.   

Feedback through workshops was positive and proved valuable in shaping the development proposal significantly. The approval of the scheme design at outline application stage resulted in expediting the subsequent consultation processes once the application was submitted. 


S106 and infrastructure delivery  

Each promoter had a different interest in the land from the outset – one freehold landowner (70 per cent of the site), one with a promotion agreement on behalf of an investor landowner (20 per cent), and one agricultural landowner with an option to a housebuilder (10 per cent). Despite all parties committing to a single comprehensive scheme this slowed the s106 process significantly, affecting the drafting of conditions, s106 and preferred delivery mechanisms.  

Resolution to grant consent was issued in March 2013 subject to further design detail of the key highway infrastructure, a viability review mechanism for s106, and agreeing the level of AH provision. Protracted negotiations with the council, county council, adjoining district council and parish councils these matters were not agreed until January 2015.

Due to the need to ‘partition’ the conditions so that each party could implement their landholding independently to a common scheme and share the costs and values in an equitable manner, it took another three years to issue a consent. 

The consent included a partitioned s106 for each party, with a ‘per dwelling’ s106 ‘tariff’ apportioned to each landowner to reflect the extent of their infrastructure provision.