PAUL STAINTON: It’s been five years. It’s taken three planning applications. There’s been a year’s building work. People will soon though be living in a Victorian manor house in Peterborough. Plans to knock down Thurston House first went to the Council in 2007, but the developer Accent Nene was told it must be saved. On the line now is Margaret Randall. She lives near Thurston House, and was at first worried of course by the decision to turn it into affordable housing. Margaret, good morning.
MARGARET RANDALL: Hello there. Hello.
PAUL STAINTON: Are you still worried?
MARGARET RANDALL: They’ve made a brilliant job of it. Honestly. I personally think it’s enhanced the area. They’ve dealt with the old house in a very sympathetic way. It’s been done very well, not awful white plastic windows or anything which we thought might happen. But it was a big campaign, because it has a lot of history to it. And it’s very important to Peterborough. I think it’s one of the best developments that have been done. It’s absolutely lovely. It’s enhanced the area.
PAUL STAINTON: A good thing for the area then really.
MARGARET RANDALL: Very much. And the house looks very good from the road. If that had been just a mass of modern buildings it would have been awful, with the surrounding Victorian properties. But it blends beautifully. It’s a crossover between the modern and the old. The house hasn’t been detracted at all. They’ve even landscaped the garden in front, where we imagined all of the cars were going to be parked in front. But not at all. It’s very very well done. And compliments to Nene Housing.
PAUL STAINTON: It sounds like you’re thinking of putting an offer in.
MARGARET RANDALL: (LAUGHS) Well anyone who buys into there, I’m absolutely sure .. I’m in the property business .. I’m absolutely sure they’re going to have a benefit. That will go up, those properties will, quite unlike some of the housing that’s been put up, cheap housing that’s been put up, mushrooming up all over Peterborough, which will never hold their value. But those properties there will hold their value. It’s a lovely development.