Issue date:  12th January 2017

Protect Rural Peterborough (PRP)

Help save the countryside west of the city




This is NOT about “Our Plans”; the community led Castor & Ailsworth Neighbourhood Plan. This is about “Their Plan”. Peterborough City Council (PCC) Draft Local Development Plan (LDP).

PCC issued the LDP plan on 16th December, which included proposed land allocations for housing and development across the unitary authority area for the next 20 years until 2036.   The LDP includes 2,500 houses, commercial and industrial development, and a cemetery in the Parishes of Ailsworth and Castor on Homes & Community Agency (HCA) land north of the bypass.  HCA land south of the bypass adjoining the village is proposed to be designated a ‘Country Park’.  The public consultation period for the LDP will run from 16th December 2016 to 9th February 2017.   A final consultation will be held during June/July 2017.  

HAVE YOUR SAY - It is vital that the concerns of village residents are received during the initial consultation phase (deadline 9th February 2017). The more responses, the greater our voice.

Protect Rural Peterborough (PRP) is a campaign group of local volunteers supported by Castor & Ailsworth parish councils. PRP and both parish councils will be campaigning and responding to PCC’s LDP plan. You can add a lot of weight to the campaign by responding yourself.  A mass response from individual residents will add weight to the campaign and strengthen the case against the development.   Please do not be complacent. Your opinion counts and it will help PRP’s quest to stop this proposed development in some of Peterborough’s only remaining untouched rural countryside.  

PRP has drawn up these guidance notes (see overleaf) to assist residents who wish to object and submit their views to Peterborough City Council. Please add any additional concerns that you may have.  Your views must be your own for them to carry any weight with the planning authorities.

To avoid any confusion, this large site allocation/ large settlement was NOT part of the Government’s recently announced Garden Village initiative, which encourages local authorities to work with local communities to plan large developments.

Please note:  Castor and Ailsworth Neighbourhood Plan consultation is also live.  Consultation is running from 3 January to 17 February 2017.  The draft Neighbourhood Plans (one for each Parish) can be viewed at or paper copies are available to view at The Royal Oak, The Prince of Wales Feathers and The Coffee House.  Please respond online or via the paper feedback form which you should have received during the first week of January.

PROTECT RURAL PETERBOROUGH #PRP is a campaign group of local volunteers formed in Nov 2016 after a public meeting held by Castor & Ailsworth parish councils, which was attended by nearly 300 residents. After hearing about the PCC Draft Local Plan, the meeting almost unanimously said they could not support the current PCC proposal.  PRP has the support of both parish councils, Ward Councillors John Holdich OBE, Peter Hillier and Shailesh Vara MP. Marholm and Sutton Parish Council share our concerns. We are making another presentation at Sutton on 17th January 2017.



These notes are for guidance only. Please use your own words.

Reasons you may wish to comment on this site allocation:

The proposal is out of scale and out of character with its rural location

-The proposal is for 2,500 houses and 10 hectares of commercial and industrial use in the middle of untouched rural countryside.

-It is 4 x times the size of Castor and Ailsworth villages combined

-It would dominate the nearby villages and rural setting of the neighbouring villages

-It goes against the Vision of “Their Plan” itself, aspiring to “a network of characterful villages set within an attractive rural landscape” i.e. NOT with a Township plonked in the middle of them!

-It would be in some of the area’s best open countryside and ignores the PCC’s own policy on ‘Landscape character LP26’ and designated

-Contradicts PCC’s development in the countryside policy LP11, designed to ensure development is consistent with rural location and does no harm to open countryside or designated natural or heritage sites

The proposal threatens wildlife, their habitats and bio-diversity

-Castor Hanglands - the proposed housing and industrial development is within 200m

-Hanglands is a National Nature reserve and SSSI Castor Hanglands – 1 of only 3 National Nature Reserves (NNR) in the area, site of ‘best pond in the UK for biodiversity’ and one of 2 SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest) in the Parishes. 

-2,500 Houses = 500 Cats (1 in 5 UK households). They can be prolific killers of small wildlife.

-Wildlife on the site itself - 100 different species, 15 of high importance for bio-diversity under:

-Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act of 2006 entitled ‘Biodiversity lists and action (England)’.

-UK BAP Priority Species, identified as most threatened and requiring conservation action

-8 Bird species on the Red Data List, the highest conservation priority category for birds.

Area of best landscape, first designated in 1989 and again in 1996 and 2005 - lost forever

-400 acres of rich farmland and pristine rural site that has been farmed for centuries

-The site contains important historic sites and archaeology, including Roman remains in the area and medieval lanes (Cow, Clay Lane and The Drift).  St Kyneburgha Church, one of the nation’s most important Norman Churches is prominent in the surrounding countryside

-The site would dominate the local area.  It would require major infrastructure including road links to ensure no traffic issues, in either the villages or on the A47 and A1

-The site contravenes Local Planning Policies LP1, LP2, LP3, LP4 and LP5 which together would steer most new development to those larger places that offer the best access to services and facilities (both now and for the foreseeable future)

-The proposal is not part of “Objectively Assessed Need (OAN)” for housing in Peterborough.

How can I respond to “Their Plan”, the PCC draft Local Plan?




You can view and respond to PCC’s Draft Local Development Plan online at ...OR

Use the guidance notes below to write a letter of objection to Peterborough City Council with the following:

1.Your name & address.  PCC tell us that anonymous letters will not be valid

2.Reference:  Peterborough Draft Local Development Plan Consultation 2016 - 2036

3.One-line summary of location of site to which you are objecting:   Site F in LDP.  Land north of A47 bypass in the parishes of Castor & Ailsworth owned by Homes & Communities Agency

4.Interest and general line of person making representation:  I write in connection with the above site allocation in the LDP.  I have examined the plans and I know the site well. I wish to object strongly to the development of these houses in this location (or something similar!)

5.If possible, make reference to Government policy and site-specific Local Development Plan Vision, Objectives and policy:  See PRP’s guidance notes overleaf. DO NOT repeat verbatim!

6.Reference to issues which affect the community as a whole, rather than individual interest

7.Reference to development plan generic development control policy as well as to issues of concern to the wider community

8.Reference to any other bodies in the local community who support your position:

9. Your signature

You will want to get your point across and let PCC know your objections and how you feel, BUT please do not use any abusive language, as your letter will be simply ignored by PCC

Please send letters of objection to:

PCC Draft Local Plan Team,
Peterborough City Council, 33
Town Hall,
Bridge Street,
Peterborough PE1 1HF

If you require assistance with writing your letter of objection, please contact:

Martin Chillcott, Tracey Blackmore, Jo Morris or any member of the PRP Campaign group

You may also wish to let your City Ward Councillors, John Holdich and Peter Hillier, know how you feel.  You can send a copy of your letter or write separately to them, at the Town Hall address

Our parish councils have also volunteered to deliver letters to the Town Hall on your behalf.

Please deliver your letters by 1st February 2017 to either:

Joan Pickett, Chair Ailsworth Parish Council, 19 Andrew Close, Ailsworth

or Neil Boyce, Chair Castor Parish Council, 7 Benams Close, Castor

Learn more about the campaign