Posted: 29 September 2017

From humble beginnings when the first brick was laid in a barren, treeless clay-pit, Hampton has quickly grown into a thriving community, home to thousands of people. From humble beginnings when the first brick was laid in a barren, treeless clay-pit, Hampton has quickly grown into a thriving community, home to thousands of people.

The Hampton Festival was held on Saturday to mark the 20 years of the township, and Roger Tallowin, general manager of developer O & H Hampton, said he felt the celebrations felt like ‘a child growing up’. He said: “Hampton is no longer a teenager. It is a maturing community now - it feels a bit like your children growing up. “I was there when the first brick was laid - there were no trees and there was no grass - you had to have the vision that it was going to turn into something spectacular.” Since work was started on the township, visitors from across the world have come to see the Hamptons, to learn for similar projects elsewhere.?Lisa Caswell moved to the area in 1999, and said she had loved her time there - especially with the green open space that had been created. She has been at the heart of the community, helping organise community events.

She said: “We moved here as we wanted to be part of a new neighbourhood with good schools, rail links and leisure facilities. “We feel the best parts are the open spaces, the lakes, and when we first moved in the close sense of a community forming with the local police officer PC Thorpe welcoming each new resident personally on our doorstep.” North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said he was happy with how the township had been developed - but was keen for the facilities to keep pace with the expansion. He said: “The Hamptons cover a significant area of Peterborough and make an important contribution to the city. Home to a large number of families, of all ages, the design of the area, including green spaces, shops and restaurants, has succeeded in creating a thriving community.

“The Hamptons continue to expand and I am keen to see the infrastructure and facilities that go with the homes - such as schools, health services and recreational amenities - keep pace with the growth.” Christ the Servant King Church (CSKC) has been serving the community in Hampton since first meeting in a Portacabin in 1999. Services were then held in Hampton Vale Primary School, before a new church opened in 2014. Rev Sylvia Kinder, vicar at the church said: “Having a church building has definitely improved the community spirit. We run a not for profit coffee shop with a play area for under fives. The coffee shop is a popular venue for both young families and single or lonely people. We have some customers who come in every day as they know the staff and volunteers will make the time to sit with them and have a chat.”

She added: “Hampton has many good points: it is set out beautifully with plenty of parks for children and nice walks around the lakes. There is a good community spirit, with excellent schools and good provision for seniors with clubs that they are able to attend as well. “For those who love gardening, there are two sets of allotments. Hampton in Action go litter picking on the first Saturday of each month in Vale and the second Saturday in Hargate. “With all that is going on, we are already looking at how we can expand our building to enable us to have a room set aside as a youth room and further rooms for other activities.” Education and shopping As the number of homes in the township has grown, so the number of schools and shopping facilities has expanded to cope. Helen Price, Executive Headteacher at the Hampton Academies Trust, which includes Hampton College, said the school’s expansion had mirrored the township’s growth since opening 12 years ago - with more than double the number of classrooms now open to pupils.

She said: “Hampton College opened in 2005 to 180 Year 7 and Year 8 students. Its growth since then reflects the rapid population expansion in the Hampton area. In 2009 we added a Sixth Form and in 2012 opened our Primary Phase, when our first ever reception children joined us. Between 2011 and 2013 the site underwent a significant expansion, adding new Science, Technology, Sports and Sixth Form facilities and a full primary school building. The Clayburn Road part of our site has become a real community hub, with the local library and sports centre now sharing our campus.”

A major expansion of Serpentine Green has also been taking place, with new shops and restaurants being opened in and around the centre.

David Wait, manager of Serpentine Green said: “The extension to the northern end of the site is almost complete, with a new Next, Costa and Thomas Cook opening earlier this summer and an M&S Foodhall to open in 2018. Further redevelopment proposals include new leisure and restaurant space and an outer retail terrace replacing retail space in the existing Rotunda. A new town square is proposed to replace the Rotunda providing an attractive focal point which can be used by visitors as a place to relax and enjoy outdoor events.

“We are committed to working with the local community through initiatives such as our Bright Lights training and skills programme and Young Readers event on site, and we remain focused on delivering a centre that meets the needs of the local community. The investment works should create more than 300 direct and 150 indirect jobs during the construction phase and 250 permanent retail positions once the new retail and leisure facilities have opened.”

Hampton facts

First brick laid in Holly Walk, Hampton in July 1997.

The first area of the Hamptons to be built was Hampton Hargate.

The Hamptons covers more than 2,500 acres - with more than half being green space

There are around 5,350 homes currently built in the township

The Hampton Nature Reserve is home to Europe’s largest colony of Great Crested Newts Serpentine Green attracts five million visitors every year - and its eight beehives are home to half a million bees.



Source: Peterborough Today




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