‘Mark Three’ New Town – Designated 21 July 1967

Peterborough was a city long before it was designated a New Town. The feasibility of a large-scale expansion of Peterborough was first examined in the early 1960s, when Sir Henry Wells carried out a study for the Government on providing homes, workplaces and services and amenities for 70,000 incomers. The expanded town would take up London ‘overspill’ and create a regional growth city, acting as a counter-magnet to the capital. Today, Peterborough is an important regional centre, providing employment and services for people across a wide catchment area. It has been growing for many years, through a mixture of peripheral expansion and the redevelopment of vacant and derelict sites within the urban area. One of the most noticeable examples of this is at Hampton, a major urban extension under way on reclaimed brickfields.

Key facts:

  • Location: 124 kilometres north of London, 56 kilometres north east of Northampton.
  • 2011 Census population: 183,631, in 74,023 households.
  • Local authority: Peterborough City Council.
  • Local Plan status: Peterborough Core Strategy Development Plan Document (adopted 2011), Peterborough Site Allocations DPD (adopted 2012), Peterborough Planning Policies DPD (adopted 2012), Peterborough City Centre Plan (adopted 2014).

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 21 July 1967.
  • Designated area: 6,455 hectares.
  • Intended population: 188,000 (population at designation: 81,000).
  • Development Corporation: Aimed to help relieve London’s housing needs, absorb some of the natural increase in the population of the South East, and improve the existing city. The New Town’s township concept was the central feature of the Hancock Hawkes advisory plan of 1968 and of the Development Corporation’s masterplan of 1970. Development Corporation wound up 30 September 1988.

Figures taken from Peterborough ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.

Council website:

Information about regeneration:

Local museums and archives:

Peterborough Museum:

Peterborough Archives Service:

Updated: 1st April, 2020