Strategic housing

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Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21

The council produces strategies that set the housing priorities for Peterborough, and what we are going to do to address them.

On 12 April 2017 the Council formally adopted the Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21.This strategy sets out our priorities, commitments and programme for a wide range of housing matters, including rural issues. 

We have identified four key priorities for the Peterborough housing agenda:

  • How we will support substantial and sustainable growth in Peterborough
  • How we will increase the supply of homes which people can afford
  • How we will improve housing conditions in Peterborough to support health and wellbeing
  • How we will ensure that a range of supported and specialist accommodation is available in Peterborough

As part of the strategy's development, a period of public consultation was undertaken to ensure that all stakeholders and partners had the opportunity to influence the final document.

A separate report summarising the key and most frequently raised issues arising from the consultation has been published alongside the Housing Strategy.

Final Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21

Size: 1.67 MB File format: pdf

Housing Strategy Consultation key issues

Size: 297.46 KB File format: pdf

Strategic tenancy policy

As part of the Localism Act 2011 registered providers were granted freedoms that allow them to:

  • provide new tenants with a fixed-term tenancy if this is considered to be more appropriate than the offer of a lifetime tenancy
  • determine the length of the fixed term offered to each tenant on an individual basis
  • develop their own policies setting out the criteria to be used to determine whether or not to reissue a new tenancy at the end of a fixed term
  • build new homes and re-let existing homes under the new ‘affordable rent’ tenure, which enables housing providers to charge higher rent levels for accommodation than is presently charged for social rented accommodation.

The Peterborough Strategic Tenancy Policy seeks to ensure that rents remain affordable, that homelessness levels do not increase, that tenancy flexibilities are applied in a sensitive manner, and that tenant mobility is protected. 

Peterborough Strategic Tenancy Policy

Size: 316.41 KB File format: pdf

Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment

Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMA) are a requirement under national planning policy, and are a key part of the evidence required to ensure the delivery of the right amount of new homes that meet the needs of our communities, now and in years to come.

In August 2014, Peterborough City Council, Rutland County Council, South Holland District Council and South Kesteven District Council published a full refreshed Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the Peterborough sub-region, which encompasses the geographical area of all four local authorities.

The SHMA only assesses our housing needs; it does not take account of any constraints in being able to meet this need. It also looks at the affordability of new homes in the district and makes recommendations about the amount of new homes which may be required to meet specialist housing needs.

In October 2015 an update to the Peterborough Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) 2014 was published and the four partner authorities are now pleased to confirm the publication of a further update in March 2017.

The purpose of the SHMA 2017 Update is to take account of the latest Population and Household Projections and ensure an up to date evidence base for the Local Plan. This approach accords with National Planning Policy Guidance.

Part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Deal is a proposal for a new Peterborough University with degree-awarding powers. Although the University proposal is still at an early stage, an assessment of the potential impact of the University on housing numbers has been undertaken to sit alongside this SHMA update. Any additional needs arising as a result of the University will need to be considered separately to the main conclusions of the SHMA update (for example through the Local plan process).

The March 2017 SHMA Update should be read alongside the 2014 SHMA.

As we prepare a refreshed Local Plan, we will take account of other factors such as sustainability, site availability, infrastructure capacity and environmental designations in formulating our housing target.

Other housing related strategies

The Local Investment Plan sets out the investment required for Peterborough to inform funding discussions with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Local Investment Plan

Size: 1.81 MB File format: pdf

Key partners

We have a number of key partners to ensure the provision of high quality affordable housing on new developments and within existing townships and villages. Our key partners include:

  • Registered Providers - also known as Housing Associations, are independent not-for-profit organisations that build and manage low-cost housing for people in housing need.
  • Homes and Community Agency - is a government body that funds investment in affordable housing. 
  • Private developers - assist with providing affordable housing in Peterborough.
  • Help to Buy Agent (East and South East) - is the registered provider acting as the agent for those looking to buy their own home through the Government Help to Buy scheme.
  • Adult Social Care - the Strategic Housing Market Assessment sets out the housing needs for a number of groups within population who have supported housing needs. 
  • Cambridgeshire ACRE - affordable rural housing service for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  

Affordable rented housing

Affordable rent is the most prevalent tenure of new build affordable housing in Peterborough. Owned and managed by registered providers, affordable rented housing is made available to tenants at up to a maximum of 80% of the rental cost of a similar property in the private rented sector.

The minimum length of tenancy is two years. For more information on affordable rent see our information for developers below.

The allocation of affordable rented accommodation is overseen by us. Advice about how to make an application for affordable rented housing in Peterborough is available from our Housing Needs team by calling customer services on 01733 864064 or email

Affordable housing delivery

As the housing market is recovering from the recession, it is estimated that the average house prices in Peterborough have increased from £159,496 in June 2013, to £178,172 in June 2016. (Average price based on sales only, Cambridge sub-region’s Housing Market Bulletin, Issue 30). This can have a knock on effect of more people being unable to access home ownership, therefore the continued supply of new affordable housing will meet the needs of some households priced out of the market.

A number of new affordable homes have been provided in Peterborough in recent years:

  • 2015/16 - 167 new affordable homes
  • 2014/15 - 488 new affordable homes
  • 2013/14 - 162 new affordable homes
  • 2012/13 - 276 new affordable homes

Information for developers

We are committed to the strategic housing policy objective to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of living in a decent home which they can afford, in a community where they want to live. To enable this, we work closely with partners to maximise the provision of affordable housing.

Planning policy relating to affordable housing

The Peterborough Core Strategy is one of the most important documents within the Local Development Framework. It sets out a series of policies on a wide range of topics, and will significantly influence how Peterborough grows over the next 15 years. 

The policies relating to affordable housing in the core strategy are contained in policy CS8 on page 64 include the following:

  • developers will be encouraged to bring forward proposals for housing which will provide a mix of housing types and size that will meet the identified need for Peterborough in order to secure mixed communities
  • on all development sites on which 15 or more dwellings are proposed (whether as new-build or conversion), the City Council will seek provision, through negotiation, of 30% of the dwellings as affordable houses (unless the proposed development is itself for more than 30% affordable housing). 70% of any affordable dwellings shall be in the form of social rented homes and 30% in the form of intermediate homes
  • we may release a site adjacent to a village envelope for the provision of affordable housing, as an exception to the normal policy of development restraint in the countryside
  • on all development sites on which 15 or more dwellings are proposed, there will be a requirement to provide 20% of the dwellings to Lifetime Home standard
  • on all development sites on which 50 or more dwellings are proposed, there will be an additional requirement to provide 2% of the dwellings as wheelchair homes.

Affordable housing coming soon

There are a number of schemes that are expected to be completed over the coming months:

  • Johnston Press – a market led development providing 26 affordable homes with 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms available as a mix of shared ownership and affordable rented tenures through Cross Keys Homes. This development is expected to complete by the end of June 2017.

  • Woburn Drive, Thorney – Cross Keys Homes in partnership with Larkfleet are delivering 24 affordable homes with a mix of 1 bedroom flats and 2 and 3 bedroom houses. There will be 7 shared ownership and 17 affordable rented homes. The first homes are due to be completed in January 2017 with the final property due for completion in December 2017.

  • London Road, Hempsted – this market housing led development will deliver 9 shared ownership homes, consisting of 4 x 3 bedroom houses and 5 x 2 bedroom houses for Cross Keys Homes. Completion is expected in January 2017.

  • Stanground South – the final 5 intermediate rented 1 bedroom houses and flats from Longhurst & Havelok are due to complete at the beginning of January 2017.

  • Thorney Road, Eye – this market housing led development will also deliver 6 affordable homes. 4 x 1 bedroom flats are for affordable rent and 2 x 3 bedroom houses are for shared ownership, provided by Cross Keys Homes. The shared ownership houses completed in October 2016, while the affordable rented homes are expected to complete at the end of January 2017.

  • New Road, Peterborough – this affordable housing scheme is being provided by Cross Keys Homes. It will deliver 45 homes with a mix of shared ownership and affordable rented, ranging from 1 bedroom flats to 2 and 3 bedroom houses. The majority of the completions are expected in December 2016 and January 2017, with the final property being handed over in March 2017.

  • Park Lane – Cross Keys Homes are delivering 16 affordable homes on this site with a mix of 4 x 3 bedroom shared ownership and 12 x 2 bedroom affordable rented homes. The development is expected to complete by the end of March 2017.

Affordable housing capital funding 

Peterborough City Council is committed to supporting and investing in the provision of affordable housing. To assist provision, the Council has set aside funds to deliver affordable housing in Peterborough through a third party. These funds have been acquired as a result of Section 106 planning agreements, where a financial payment to the Council has been negotiated instead of on site affordable housing provision.

From July 2016 the Council has introduced a more flexible approach to accessing these funds and the previous under-utilised policy framework has been withdrawn.

The first step for Affordable Housing providers seeking to access funding is to contact the Housing and Strategic Planning Manager to discuss a potential scheme.

In order to consider funding requests we will need to know details about the scheme proposal, the housing need it is seeking to meet and why funding is being sought. We will expect that schemes seeking funding will contribute to meeting the housing needs of more vulnerable groups in the city and, in the event that we decide to offer support, we will want to explore a range of options around the type of funding support that the Council can offer.

Like many Affordable Housing providers, the Council is changing its approach to funding finance.   While there will still be circumstances in which the Council will be prepared to offer grant funding, we will also want to fully explore all options around equity investment or a loan as alternatives. This is to ensure that, where feasible, we can recycle funds back into the Section 106 fund, to enable the maximum benefit from these affordable housing funds for the city.

Since our intention is not to have a prescribed format for accessing funding, the precise requirements for securing funds will depend on the nature of each proposal, but we will work with the Affordable Housing provider to clearly communicate what information is required to support the funding request in each case.

If you are considering applying for funding, contact the Housing and Strategic Planning Manager on telephone 01733 863815 or email

Custom and self build housing

As required by legislation, the Council has a register for people who are seeking to buy a serviced plot of land in Peterborough City Council’s administrative area for the purpose of building their own home.The Government has issued Regulations about eligibility for entry on the register.

An individual is eligible for entry on the register if that individual is:

  • aged 18 or over;
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland;
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.

In addition, and as permitted by the regulations, Peterborough City Council also require thefollowing in order to be entered on the register:

  • pay a registration fee to the council of £20
  • if you want to be entered on Part1 of the register, you must meet the local connection test (set out below);

If the applicant is a group or an association, each member must fulfil the eligibility criteria and must each pay a £20 registration fee.

What is the benefit of being on ‘Part 1’ of the Register?

Part 1 of the register comprises those people and organisations who meet all of the eligibility criteria, including the local connection test. Part 2 comprises those people and organisations who meet all the eligibility criteria, apart from the local connection test.

To you as an individual or association, there is no direct benefit to being on ‘Part 1’.
However, the Council has a duty to facilitate the provision of enough service plots of land to meet the demand for the number of applicants on Part 1 of their register within a 3 year period.

Registration on either Part 1 or Part 2 does not however guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.

What is the local connection test?

In order to meet the local connection test, you will need to:

  • currently live, or have lived within the Peterborough authority area for either 6 of the last 12 months or 3 of the last 5 years; or,
  • currently work within the Peterborough authority area; or,
  • have an immediate family member living within the Peterborough authority area(Immediate family means a parent, child, or sibling, or another family member if there is a particularly close relationship); or
  • be in service of the regular or reserve armed forces of the Crown or have applied within five years of discharge, and would have met any of the above at the date of commencing service.


An initial registration fee of £20 applies to new applicants from 1 June 2017. In an association, each member must pay the £20 fee.

Individuals and associations that have already entered on the register prior to 1 June 2017 will remain on the register without being required to pay the registration fee.

An annual fee of £20 per applicant, along with an updated registration form, to confirm continued eligibility, will be required to be submitted by 30 October each year from new and existing applicants to the register. Each September we will send a registration form to all those who are currently on the register.

New applications to the register can be made at any time throughout the year, but all applicants before 1 September each year will be required to re-register and pay a further registration fee by the 30 October each year in order to remain on the register, regardless of when they last registered.    

How to pay

You can pay your £20 per person registration fee using the pay online facility

Please note: Payment must be received before being registered.It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria in full prior to submission of the fee. The fee is non-refundable if not eligible.  

Further information

There are various types of custom build project, which include:

  • Individual self build  an individual purchases a plot of land and builds a house to live
    in. They may do some or all of the build themselves, or employ a builder, architect and in some cases, a project manager to oversee the build.
  • Group self build  a group of people come together to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project.
  • Developer-led custom build  a developer divides a larger site into individual plots and provides a design and build service to purchasers. This gives people a chance to tailor existing house designs to suit their own preference and needs.

Registering your interest in Custom and Self Build

Having read the guidance and criteria rules set out above, and you would like to be placed on the register, please complete the relevant registration form and email it to, or post to:

Custom and Self Build Register,
Sustainable Growth Strategy,
Peterborough City Council,
Sand Martin House
Bittern Way
Fletton Quays

Individual form

Size: 62.09 KB File format: pdf

Association form

Size: 71.72 KB File format: pdf

How we will use information from the Register 

By signing up, you will help us find out more about the demand for custom build plots in Peterborough, and the house sizes that applicants would like to build.

The register is not a public document. We will not pass identifiable information from the Register on to anyone outside the Council without the written consent of the person who registered their details.

Further Information and Advice

If you would like to know more about the Custom and Self Build project, have any queries about the registration, or would like a copy of the registration form sent to you, please email or call: 01733 863872.

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