An update on North Westgate

 September 15th, 2015

Peterborough City Council is currently consulting on the application via its online planning portal and I would like to encourage your support for our plans as part of that consultation – North Westgate Planning Portal

 

It is very important that we demonstrate the strength of support for the re-generation of North Westgate and the benefits it will bring to the city as a whole and the local area in particular is demonstrated. This part of the city centre, almost opposite the railway station, has been derelict for over two decades and its re-generation needs to move ahead as quickly as possible for the benefit of all.

 

Our plans, as you know, provide for a new leisure quarter of the City and are anchored on a cinema complex which will be the catalyst for attracting visitors to the new piazza and the surrounding leisure and shopping activities. But we are concerned that the proposals for a cinema in Queensgate put these plans at risk – it is very unlikely that the city could support two cinemas so close together. North Westgate has already secured a formal offer from a cinema group for a multi-screen complex and is the right place for leisure and the cinema – just as Queensgate should be the heart of the city’s shopping area.

 

We are, therefore, asking Peterborough City Council to prioritise the North Westgate development, recognising its significant contribution to the future success of the city by creating a new place to visit, live and work. We have written to the Council objecting to Queensgate’ s application for planning permission for a cinema on the grounds that Queensgate does not benefit from a policy allocation and the adopted Development Plan makes no reference to the expansion of leisure facilities within the shopping centre. Most importantly, Queensgate’ s plans would put at significant risk the long-delayed regeneration of a whole neighbourhood.

 

Given the policy priory afforded to North Westgate, it is imperative that planning permission is refused for a cinema at Queensgate.

 

What Peterborough doesn’t want is to put the long-awaited North Westgate development in jeopardy. There is no other viable anchor, leisure, retail or otherwise, for the North Westgate scheme – it needs the cinema for it to happen. If a cinema is approved at Queensgate the regeneration of North Westgate will not happen for the foreseeable future.

 

This is not about commercial choices, but planning choices that are in the best interests of Peterborough.

North Westgate is being developed by Hawksworth Securities PLC, a public limited company launched in 1988 focusing on building developments. Hawksworth has been in Peterborough for over 20 years and will be assembling this site.