It's been a busy week for Jesus Green.
After the rejection of the lottery bid on Wednesday, it has been announced the bid for a temporary compound on a section of Jesus Green behind the tennis courts has also been knocked back.
There has been virtually unanimous condemnation of the scheme. JGA members felt the scheme would be a terrible blight on a popular area for at least 18 months. Imagine a halogen-lit car park surrounded by 2m hoardings, with the grass destroyed by rolled-in hard standing and several trees in the cherry avenue felled. Not a pretty sight. An intrusive lay-by on Park Parade serving heavy lorries would have also been an intrusive presence.
There was also considerable support from Market ward councillors, in particular Colin Rosentiel in his comments to the Cambridge News, in which he invoked the green's common law statutes of the green to protect it.
Many members also wrote letters against the scheme, demonstrating a widespread resistance to the scheme to planning officers.
The JGA has now been informed by Simon Payne, director of environment and planning, that the scheme has been denied planning permission by senior officers under delegated powers.
The following reasons were given for the refusal:
1. The proposal woudl lead to the loss, for an extended period, of open space of recreational importance which would not be replaced elsewhere. It would also interfere with the recreational use of an area of Common Land. For these reasons it would be contrary to policy 4/2 of the Cambridge Local Plan (2006) and government guidance in planning policy guidance 17 'planning for open space, sport and recreation' (2002)
2. By virtue of its large size and untidy and makeshift appearance, the noisy nature of the activity within it, and its impact on view to and from the River Cam across Jesus Green, and towards the historic core of the city from the direction of Jesus Lock, the proposed compound would have a harmful impact on the character and appearance of the City of Cambridge Conservation Area No.1 (central), contrary to policy 4/11 of the Cambridg Local Plan (2006), and government guidance in Planning Policy Guidance 15 'Planning and the Historic Environment' (1994).
3. The proposal involves the development in an area with an unacceptable risk of flooding and has the potential to affect flows of floodwater elsewhere.
THE JGA WOULD LIKE TO CREDIT THE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF THOSE MANY MEMBERS WHO MADE THEIR VOICES HEARD QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY. WELL DONE.
Also thanks to our elected representatives for coming out so firmly against this scheme, and also officers for moving decisively to knock this back.
PS, not sure what the appeals procedure is for EDF Energy, but there seems to be clearly laid out grounds for the refusal.
Also don't know any news on alternative sites for said compound.