19 April 2023
Vara opposes development at Helpston

Shailesh Vara MP is opposing an application by C J Pettitt Transport Ltd for the construction of 20 houses in Helpston. The proposed development, which would be located on land adjacent to John Clare Primary School, has faced criticism from local residents for a number of reasons, including the effect of further development on the village's character and infrastructure. 

This application follows a previous one made by Barratt David Wilson Homes in October 2022, which sought to erect 80 dwellings on the same land, which Mr Vara and the local community also opposed. Importantly, the two applications fail to produce a “master plan” for the entirety of the site – a requirement under Peterborough City Council’s Local Plan. 

There is also considerable concern about the impact on local services and the potential loss of green space. 

Mr Vara is working with Helpston Parish Council, who are worried about the inherent detrimental effects of such a development, and urged Peterborough City Council to listen to their concerns. 

Mr Vara said: 

“This development would be detrimental to the village of Helpston and the surrounding area. The applicants have failed to provide a comprehensive master plan demonstrating how it would not negatively impact on surrounding properties. 

“Moreover, local infrastructure is simply not equipped to cope with the additional demand that these new homes would place on it; the nearby primary school, for example, is already oversubscribed. There are further concerns about damage to the local environment, including the loss of valuable green space.” 

Cllr David Over commented: 

“This is an unacceptable application for further development in the village and it goes against the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan.” 

Joseph Dobson, the Chairman of Helpston Parish Council, added: 

“Any proposed application by Barratt David Wilson Homes or C J Pettitt Transport Ltd that does not address the central requirement of LP42, that of a comprehensive master plan for the whole site, should not be considered. There is no indication from either party that they have sought to cooperate in order to fulfil this requirement.

“Helpston Parish Council regards the support from the community through its Housing Action Group, Parish Councils in the Barnack Ward, the Rt Hon Shailesh Vara MP and others, as essential in bringing to Peterborough City Council Planning Department's attention the grave concerns we have about the development of the site as a whole and especially the lack of coordination between developers.”