Supplementary memorandum by Peterborough
City Council (NT 24(a))
1. What is the original objective of the
The initial objective was to establish four
new "townships" each with a large number of houses serviced
by a shopping centre and community centres. (Three were actually
built at Bretton, Orton and Werrington). Linking road networks
were also planned to join the areas with the City Centre.
2. Which of those objectives have been met?
Three of the four townships have been builta
fourth, Hampton, has subsequently begun. Linking Roads"Parkways"
have been built around each of the communities, providing quick
links around and into the city centre.
3. What do you consider to be its role in
the region and sub-region in the future?
Peterborough plays an important role within
the East of England, it has the second highest population within
the region and is a key centre for employment and leisure. Peterborough
is recognised as a key centre for growth by the East of England
Development Agency, it is however, also a priority for regeneration.
The city is seen as a lead contributor to the development of the
region, despite its location on the fringes of the East of England.
The city is a sub-regional centre, providing facilities and employment
to a catchment area of 350,000 people, covering parts of the counties
of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Norfolk. With provision
for continued expansion, it is recognised that Peterborough has
the environment to aid the development of growth within the region,
particularly around Cambridge.
4. To what extent is the original master
plan for the town still used as a guiding principle for development
The master plan remains as a guiding principle
for the development of Peterborough, however, increasing weight
has been placed upon securing appropriate development for the
City in a way that continues to aid the quality of life rather
than detract from it.
5. How well have the old and new parts of
the town been integrated?
With the design of the three townships focussing
upon containing facilities within a district centre, it is easy
to see how old and new parts of the town remain isolated by their
environment, of the new Townships, Werrington is closest to the
city centrethree miles away. Comparisons between the old
and new parts of the town are stark, crime remains highest in
the old parts of town, whilst education attainment is also lower.
Regeneration funding has typically been received for the older
parts of the city, and with the ageing of the new town elements
of the city. Attempts have been made to secure funds for the new
townships, however, the perception remains that these are the
newer areas of the city and consequently wealthier.
6. Has/can the town achieve the population
that was originally planned?
The original population for Peterborough was
81,900 in 1968, the original plan was to increase the population
by 70,000 by 1981. This figure was achieved, however, the figure
was increased to 187,900 by 1985. This figure has yet to be attained.
The tables and graph below indicate the rapid
growth of Peterborough from 1971 to 1995. The seventies witnessed
the greatest degree of change, engineered by the momentum of new
town expansion. Much of Peterborough's growth in the seventies
centred on Ravensthorpe and the Bretton and Orton townships, which
were developed to attract new residents to Peterborough.
Throughout the eighties the high level of in-migration
continued. People from many UK regions moved to Peterborough to
benefit from a healthy and growing economy, and a green and clear
"New Town" environment. The Orton and Werrington townships
were completed during this period.
The nineties saw a change to this trend of continuous
growth. From mid-1995 to mid-1998 the population total fell each
year. The decline was predominantly a local issue and was not
mirrored nationally or at the regional level. Much of the decline
has been attributed to the high growth rates experienced in neighbouring
districts over the same period. Net outward migration to neighbouring
market towns together with a slow down in the number of people
migrating into the District is seen as the primary cause of the
However, the mid-1999 estimate shows an increase
in Peterborough's population for the first time since mid-1995.
The total remained stable at mid-2000. The table below highlights
the changes in Peterborough's population from 1971-99.
Source: ONS Mid-Year Estimates
Notable house building development at Peterborough's fourth
township, Hampton, continues to gather momentum and attract people
from outside the district. Hampton is planned to provide a total
of 5,200 dwellings between 1997 and 2015 and will no doubt provide
an important impetus for further growth throughout the next decade.
The mid-2000 estimate is the latest available from ONS (published
August 2000). The main points of interest are summarised below:
Mid-2000: 156,500 Total Population
Change mid-1999/2000 = Nil The 2000 mid-year estimate
of Peterborough's population is 156,500
Components of change This represents an increase in population
of approximately 500 persons (0.3 per cent) since mid-1998.
Births = 2,100
Deaths = 1,400
Migration & Other = -700 By comparison, the change
nationally (England & Wales) for the period 1999-2000 was
an increase of 0.48 per cent.
Note: ONS produce a set of population estimates for all local
authority and health authority areas annually, and publish the
figures in late August each year.
Over the last 15 years it has seriously declined and is now
in need of urgent regeneration. Its decline has been due to a
number of factors which include competition from out of town retail
parks, the closure of the British Aerospace factory, an ageing
built environment requiring investment, fragmented land ownership
and shop units of the wrong size.
The Council has produced a development brief which will involve
the demolition of over half of the town centre and its replacement
with an increase in retail floorspace together with residential
and community facilities. The Council has entered into partnership
with English Partnerships although the future is uncertain due
to the current government review of EP. The Council is also prepared
to use its compulsory powers to achieve the redevelopment and
the partnership is currently undertaking a short listing process
which by the end of the year will result in a developer achieving
In Welwyn Garden City the role of the town centre is somewhat
different. A combination of the quality of the environment of
the town and the existence of a John Lewis department store and
an 180,000 sq ft shopping centre (the Howard Centre) makes it
a significant sub-regional attractor. However, the town centre
faces increased competition from other towns in Hertfordshire
and shopping centres located around the M25. As a consequence,
in the current review of the District Plan the Council proposes
to increase the retail floorspace within the town centre. The
District Plan will be subject to a public inquiry early next year.
QUESTIONS 11 AND
The 1983 transfer from the Commission for New Towns included
Category 2 clawback land, where the clawback started at 100 per
cent and reduces by 2 per cent per annum. Such an arrangement
is bad estate management practice. There is no incentive for the
landowner to dispose or develop such land for its best and most
effective use and effectively the land is sterilised for many
Restrictive covenants have a similar effect, although the
compensation is negotiable and not fixed as in Category 2 clawback.
It is difficult to give examples of things that have not
happened due to the above as there can be many reasons why land
or property remains undeveloped. But the following is a small
example of difficulties caused by the clawback provision.
For example, recently an application was received for a small
section of amenity land from an adjoining resident, which in principle
would be acceptable. However this is Category 2 land and the
repayment for the clawback, and the added complications involved,
make it difficult to justify proceeding with such a transaction.
The transfer of assets from the Commission for New Towns
in Welwyn Garden City included large areas of amenity land, open
space and private footpaths, service roads etc. The budget requirement
for ground maintenance for the District is £1.3 million,
the majority of which is for former CNT land.
8. How strong is the demand for the existing commercial
land? Is there demand for further commercial development in the
town? What is the effect on other towns?
Demand for commercial land in Peterborough is again gathering
pace. Growth at Hampton, the City's fourth township has seen the
development of IKEA and News International, the relocation of
companies within this area of the city is continuing into the
future. Within the next six months, the City will see its first
speculative development for 10 years. The City Centre continues
to see development within the leisure and retail sectors.
9. Can you described the sub-regional planning arrangements
that are in place to regulate/facilitate development? Can you
describe the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach?
No comment available.
10. What is the regional/sub-regional role of the shopping
centre in the town?
The Queensgate centre provides shopping facilities for a
total population of 350,000, its influence covering Southern Lincolnshire,
West Norfolk, East Northamptonshire and North and West Cambridgeshire.
Its emphasis has been challenged within the past five years by
the growth in popularity of the shopping malls such as Blue Water
and Meadowhall. The centre has also acted as growth node for the
leisure industry with the development of a thriving leisure area.
11. Can you give some numerical examples of the problems
that have arisen with clawback and covenants in housing, amenity
space and other land uses?
A recent disposal of land with a 74 per cent clawback (£519,000
sale price, £384,000 claw back) is likely to cause a problem
in that the sale was part of other activity in the area which
has removed facilities from (for example) local schools. Replacing
these facilities is likely to cost more than the remaining receipt.
12. The Committee has been made aware that in some cases
clawback has made Right to Buy marginal or even negative, in terms
of receipts to the local authority. Has this been the case in
your authority? If so can you give a financial example? What are
the implications of this?
The RTB clawback is framed so that it is not negative in
our case, but it is punitive. Since the transfer in 1990, 824
former CNT houses have been sold. A total of £8,740,000 has
been paid to CNT/EP and the useable receipt has been only £1,320,000
which amounts to only £1,600 per property.
If no clawback had been in place the purchase price would
have been greater, but this would have been fully matched by higher
13. Can you quantify the outstanding liabilities facing
your authority, firstly as a result of the package of assets and
liabilities transferred to the authority at the winding up of
the Development Corporation, and secondly as a result of design
and other issues relating to the New Town?
We do not have the data available or the resources to estimate
this in the time available. Indeed the Council deliberately took
the view that the assets and liabilities which were transferred
simply became part of the Council's expenditure on services or
its income-generating assets.
The costs of renewing the new town retail centres in Orton
and Bretton are in the order of several millions alone, and there
are also high cost issues around the provision of car parking
facilities and problems relating to the housing design. Blocks
of bed-sit units which were provided to meet the needs of the
new town have become virtually unlettable and around £4 million
is needed to remodel these blocks. Community safety and environmental
costs of maintaining trees and shrubs are of widespread concern
in the new town underpasses and connections.
14. How does the financial value of the liabilities caused
as a result of your town being a New Town, compare to the financial
value of the remaining assets held by English Partnerships in
It is estimated that EP own 300 acres of land in the District.
180 acres are in Castor of which 80-90 acres have development
potential. The remaining land is dispersed in small pockets around
the city. The value of these holdings has not recently been assessed.
15. To what extent has English Partnerships participated
within regeneration partnerships in your town?
English Partnerships' contribution has been sporadic to regeneration
in Peterborough. They have yet to contribute to either the Single
Regeneration Budget or the Urban II programme. English Partnerships
are currently engaged within the Greater Peterborough Partnership,
the area's Local Strategic Partnership and the Greater Peterborough
Inward Investment Agency (GPIA).
Social landlords with neighbouring pockets of EP land have
not taken advantage to offer these sites as development opportunities
for social housing. The lack of affordable housing is recognised
as a barrier to regeneration.
16. Many of the submissions have referred to the inadequacy
of the existing SSA to reflect the needs of the New Towns. Can
you detail those weaknesses and set out any suggestions about
how any successor to the SSA could be improved?
Work was done in the early 1990s by the then ADC New Town
Finance Officers Panel. There was a clear feeling that the formula
did not reflect the problems of new towns, but no changes were
identified in the existing SSA indicators that would uniformly
benefit the New Towns. New indicators were not proposed because
of difficulties in data gathering.
Many of the issuesrenewing infrastructuremight
be more easily addressed through capital allocations, and thus
by the corresponding revenue grant (currently in capital financial
SSA) that is expected to form part of the new capital system.
17. Has the pattern of ownership and CNT/EP's role had
any implication in your ability to develop a housing strategy
for the area?
The City Council manages some 3,900 homes, which remain from
those acquired from the former Peterborough Development Corporation.
On any individual sale of these properties EP is entitled to a
clawback on a sliding scale based on the residential value. The
Council is following a strategy of LSVT of its housing stock.
The estimated financial impact of clawback is £3 million.
The clawback ceases in 2005 and because this is the case it is
the recommended date for transfer. This delays the preferred date
for transfer by between two and three years.
The other implication is the difficulty the City Council
has in co-ordinating housing strategies due to the ``pepper pot''
of social landlords other than the City Council due to the fragmented
method the Development Corporation used in dispersing the housing
stock in one area. The City Council is attempting to rationalise
the management of housing stocks to maximise operational effectiveness.
18. What is the balance between the original design/materials
used and the lack of maintenance/resources for maintenance in
the causes of the poor housing conditions found in some of the
19. Has design led to problems with crime? If so have
you looked at ways of designing out crime?
Peterborough is associated with a ``crime family group'',
the City however, features within the bottom quartile in terms
of total number of offences. Within the City, during 2000/01 crime
fell within the City Centre by 7.2 per cent, however, within the
Ortons incidents of crime rose by 20 per cent compared with the
previous 12 months. Motor vehicle crime is particularly high,
as is residential burglary. Regeneration programmes have sought
to design out crime by improving landscaping and shutting ``rat-runs''
created by Radburn type housing.
However, fear of crime in the new town is rising quickly
and is a key concern to the city's Community Safety Partnership.
20. What are you doing through your Local Transport Plan
to address the problems of car dependence? Does your Local Transport
Plan include provision for dealing with issues of design and layout
where that promotes car dependence?
Peterborough is laid out around a series of ``parkways''
which are relatively low density (the city has the highest average
speed for crossing the city than any other). This has however
led to a dependency on the car. This feature has been and remains
an attraction to commercial business.
In response to increased use of the car, the Local Transport
Plan has a vision of:
``over the next 15 years Peterborough will develop a transport
system which is best in the East of England because it will:
``seek to encourage alternative forms of transport within
both urban and rural areas. The authority has recently received
approval for a Home Zone to remove cars in a community in its
urban area. The plan recognises the future growth of car use and
is actively developing green transport plans with local businesses
and communities. Emphasis will continue to be focused upon improving
local bus routes and improving the provision of facilities for
cyclists and pedestrians''.
21. Have you introduced or planned any measures to promote
mobility schemes targeted at the old or the young?
No mobility scheme has, as yet, been devised specifically
for the old or young.