Labour Parliamentary Candidate Ed Murphy talks about controversial plans to build seven hundred new homes in Eye and Thorney villages. Broadcast at 08:35 on Wednesday 31st March 2010 in the Paul Stainton Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Peterborough.
PS: Villagers in Eye are very worried about plans for hundreds of new houses which could have a devastating impact on their community. A site allocation plan released by Peterborough City Council has proposed seven hundred new dwellings in Eye and Thorney. Ed Murphy is the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough. He’s taken up the case. Good morning Ed.
EM: Good morning.
PS: Why are people so worried? We need to build houses. People need a house. We’ve got homeless people in Peterborough. Surely it’s a good thing, isn’t it?
EM: We do need to build more homes, more people require homes in the Peterborough area, but I think, particularly in Eye and Thorney and Newborough and Peakirk, the villages, they have lost trust in the local authority. I made it quite clear that my position is limited growth in the villages. The Member of Parliament for Peterborough says he wants over a thousand homes in the villages. It will just wreck the village way of life. Eye has currently got three or four building sites currently in progress. Villagers have sent me some details of the reasons they’re worried. The infrastructure isn’t there, the schools, the roads. Eye recently got blocked up with the planning issues over the new garden centre. And I think the other villages as well are very concerned the whole village way of life will change. It will just become a suburb of the city of Peterborough.
PS: Right. If we’re not going to build them in the villages, where are we going to build all these houses we’re told we need?
EM: The city council have got some plans to build between twenty twenty five thousand, it’s gone up to now, homes. I’m saying limited growth, a few hundred in the villages, and go for the new townships. We’ve got the Milton Castor Estate that was built many years ago. The dual carriageway to Castor is there. It’s the infrastructure for that township.
PS: Build on all that land, that Nene urban land.
EM: Yes. It’s owned by central .. by the Homes Agency anyway. It’s there already. We’ve got Haddon.
PS: I’m sure the people of Castor will be over the moon that you’re planning to build on their green fields. (laughs).
EM: It’s not actually in Castor. There may be some politics. I believe the Fitzwilliam Hunt use the land at the moment. But actually we need to do what’s right for the people of Peterborough, not for the people who think they control it.
PS: These plans for Eye and Thorney, they’re not finalised yet are they? I mean people can still submit their comments right up until the end of April.
EM: I think it’s very important that people submit individual comments, because they’ll be counted as individual comments. Petitions are good, but it’s these individual comments that will matter. And it’s very very important, I’ve been involved in similar issues in Peterborough. The Grange on Westfield in the Netherton area we were made promises by the Council then. Local people didn’t trust them. There’s now building under way. To go with the theme this morning, people in Eye in particular think something fishy is going on. They’re being told something, they’re being told to expect a few hundred houses. It grows and grows and grows.
PS: So your message to the people if they are worried is individually to make your voice heard.
EM: Write in to the Council, go on the website, and log an objection. And use your commonsense and use the reasons. It’s your village, it’s your area, you know why they can’t build homes there. There’s a major thing developing now, as well, with the Environment Agency basically saying anything east of that area is liable to flooding anyway. So I think the City Council are going to have to revisit and consider building on land that’s more suitable.
PS: As I say, these plans not finalised yet, still under consultation until the twenty second of April, so you can have your say, if you’re worried in Eye and Thorney, about these building plans. Peterborough City Council say the proposed plans are still under consultation. Councillor Piers Croft Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Growth said: “I urge everyone to look at the plans, submit their comments, so that we can move forward with our vision for a bigger better Peterborough.” Before you go Ed, I asked Darren Fower earlier on about his comments, businesses in the city centre under extreme pressure, laying people off, cutting hours, because of these over-running renovations in the Cathedral Square. Your view on that?
EM: Did you get an answer on compensation at all, or not?
PS: There’s nothing to come from Peterborough City Council. They can’t do anything. All you’ve got to do is try and get some money back on your rates.
EM: I think they should look at maladministration. I mean this project should have finished by now. It’s really run over. And they should help local businesses out. I do hope the Square works with the grass areas and so on.
PS: Well the businesses say they want it. They were really looking forward to it. But because it’s over-run so much they’re forty per cent down on their takings, some of them. They might not be here.
EM: It seems to be going on, this is nearly the second summer it’s been going on. I think if the project’s gone on, and it’s been incompetently managed, then the City Council should look at ways of compensating or doing extra things to get some business in the city area, I really do.
PS: That’s Ed Murphy, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough.