Backlash over plans for homes
Controversial plans for 190 homes in Wittering have been approved by Peterborough City Council.
Larkfleet Homes is set to build the properties on agricultural land south of Lawrence Road and claimed in its planning application they would be “distinctive and high quality” as well as complimenting the existing character of Wittering.
But more than 400 people objected to the plans, which were approved on November 28, over concerns there will be an increase in HGVs passing through residential streets during the building phase, and an increased demand on Wittering Primary School.
There were also concerns about an increase in demand on GP surgeries, more cars on residential streets and a ‘dangerous’ A1 junction.
Dave Hughes, of the Wittering Action Group, which was formed to oppose the plans, said: “The biggest fear is the increase in traffic here in the village.
“A lot of people move to this village because it has a wonderful village atmosphere but before you know it this village is going to grow bigger and bigger and we are going to be knocking on the door of west Peterborough.”
He added he was concerned there would be an increase in accidents on the stretch of the A1 between Carpenters Lodge, near Stamford, and Wansford, due to the new development.
Shailesh Vara MP, for North West Cambridgeshire said: “The Wittering Action Group ran a strong campaign based upon well-grounded concerns and it is regrettable that the council has given permission for this large number of homes. I very much hope the developer will now work with residents to ensure the impact of these houses is mitigated as much as possible.”
Richard Roffe, chairman of Wittering Parish Council, said the homes were not needed and Wittering “doesn’t have the capacity for it”.
But a spokesman for Larkfleet Homes said the homes were “much needed”.
He said:“Highways England, which is responsible for traffic management and safety on the A1, has raised no objections to the planned development. Neither have the local education authority or the NHS.
“The decision to grant planning consent was taken by the City Council after a lengthy process of public consultation and open deliberation which took all of these factors into account. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of granting planning permission.
“We believe the development will help to tackle Peterborough’s acute rural housing crisis in which local people are being forced to move away from the villages where they were born because they cannot afford to buy homes there.”
Coun Chris Harper, chairman of the City Council’s Planning Environment Protection Committee, which passed the plans, said under the council’s planning duties there was no reason to turn the plan down.
He added he will be writing to the Government and Highways England to ask for the speed limit to be reduced in the Wittering A1 junction over a two to three mile distance to 50mph.