Agenda item

14/00536/OUT - Deed of Variation to the S106 Agreement - Former Site of Peterborough District Hospital


The report outlined a Deed of Variation to the S106 Agreement for the Former Site of Peterborough District Hospital.


It was officer’s recommendation that the Deed of Variation be approved, for the reasons set out in the report. The Principal Development Management Officer provided an overview of the report and highlighted a number of key issues within the report and update sheet.


Councillor Fitzgerald, Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         As a Ward Councillor and member of the administration, the application had Councillor Fitzgerald’s support and had been in dialogue with the Applicant.

·         It was clarified that the Applicant was not responsible for determining precisely what would be built on the site, this would be at the discretion of those who buy it.

·         The development was no longer viable in its current form and it was reasonable for the Applicant to seek an adjustment to the agreement.

·         The site was key for the city and the sooner it was fully developed the better.

·         It was an unfortunate situation, but sensible to move forward with the most viable option.

·         Markets were subject to change and it was considered better to redevelop the site now, rather than wait for the market to improve.

·         The applicant had sought professional advice on the market position.


Councillor Murphy addressed the Committee in objection to the recommendation and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         It was suggested that more information was required in relation to possible alternative options for the Committee to make a properly informed decision.

·         Councillor Murphy did not accept that the price of the land had reduced within the last three years.

·         It was claimed that, following surveillance by the Policy, no material had been stolen from the site.

·         In relation to the school site, it was believed that provision could be made for an amenity or playground.

·         It was requested that the decision be deferred in order for alternative proposals to be properly considered and for facts to be double checked.

·         Councillor Murphy believed that a Deed of Variation of this importance should be subject to public consultation.


Kevin Moriarty, Lands Improvement Holdings Peterborough Ltd, addressed the Committee in support of the recommendation and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         In the time since the outline permission for this development was granted, over 70% of the site had been cleared, with 60,000 tonnes of material taken off the site.

·         The school site had been handed over to the Council.

·         The reason for the request for a Deed of Variation to the Section 106 Agreement was, in part, the increased costs of the development. Asbestos, mediation and the absence of expected profitable materials had driven costs.

·         The Applicants wished to complete the demolition of the site and continue to provide benefits in terms of highways and the environment.

·         Viability was a challenge on any development site, however, it was suggested that significant progress had been made.

·         The site had been vacant and unsold for a significant period of time before the Applicants purchased it.

·         The Applicants were not looking to abuse the trigger points set out in the agreement and would expect safeguards for this to be built in.


The Committee discussed the report and it was questioned whether the trigger points for payments under the Section 106 Agreement could be amended to specific a time period, rather than number of houses completed.


The Senior Lawyer, Growth & Regeneration advised that it would be possible to include ‘safeguards’ into any agreement, during the negotiation process. It was not, however for the Committee to agree the detail. If the Committee were so minded they could request that the relevant Portfolio Holder and the Chairman be kept informed of any negotiations on the matter.


A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that the Deed of Variation be approved, and the Portfolio Holder and Chairman be kept informed of negotiations. The motion was carried six voting in favour and three voting against.


RESOLVED: (six voted in favour, three voted against) that:


1)    The Deed of Variation be APPROVED for the reasons set out below; and

2)    The Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing and Economic Development, and the Chairman of Planning and Environmental Protection Committee be kept informed of negotiations.


Reasons for the decision


In light of the Government’s clear policy position on aiding the delivery and regeneration of brownfield sites, the requirements for Local Planning Authorities to be flexible and the need to ensure that work on this key city site does not stall, the proposed Deed of Variation could be supported.


Supporting documents: