After a fight lasting 7 Years , 65 CFPS Blogs (and 15,000 views) later, remarkable news!
Earlier this month, the University authorities formally withdrew the most recent version of their proposals to build a “Conferencing Hotel” on Chaucer Fields/the Unspoilt Southern Slopes! Instead, as part of the Masterplan Framework to be submitted to Canterbury City Council (CCC), the authorities now propose locating the facility north of University Road, close to Turing College (originally known as “Keynes III”) and to the east of the Innovation Centre (see Corporate Communications news release; local media report 1; local media report 2).
We still await full and unambiguous confirmation that the revised Masterplan Framework (which has a planning horizon to 2031 and will link to the CCC District Plan) does not involve any other forms of “development” on Chaucer fields/the Unspoilt Southern Slopes. But we can already say that the abandonment of the plans for a hotel here has been a huge breakthrough in the long struggle to protect this much loved green space in line with the values and commitments of the local and University communities, environmental organisations, and many other civil society groups.
At the time of writing, we are also still waiting for the delayed release of the stage 2 consultation materials. The next Blog, forthcoming in early 2019, will draw upon these documents and personal involvements to outline the dramatic and sometimes surprising twists and turns which have ultimately led to this welcome outcome.
In the meantime, we mark the festive period in the customary way: with our usual historic image, first shared in the 25th Blog 6 years ago, and now 75 years old!
Chaucer Fielder aka Parklander aka University Riser
Chaucer Fields Picnic Society