This has to be short as I only have a few moments, but as promised, I am passing on new information concerning the University’s revised proposals as soon as I am able. Please go to the link Revised Chaucer Fields proposals 2012 to see how new proposals are being presented, and for more information on consultation events in a couple of weeks time.
As you can see, it is hard to come to an informed view as relatively little can be ascertained from what is presented here. It raises more questions than it answers. However, I am afraid to say the initial signs are extremely disturbing. An image from the above link is reproduced within the Blog below. There are apparently some concessions – most obviously, in terms of leaving hedgerows in place. But this is of little value, because the landscape and environmental context associated with the hedgerows would appear to be utterly transformed. It seems to be the case that the integrity of the ‘green buffer’ (or ‘green lung’) would be fundamentally undermined, and most of the negative social, heritage and environmental consequences now well understood to be associated with the previous scheme would be as appalling as before.
At the same time there may be a range of additional damage and harms. Bizarrely, the total size of the new development may be a similar size or even larger than the 2011 proposals, with the overall extent of sprawl apparently actually worsened!
If these images are not misleading, it would seem that the University Estates Department simply doesn’t “get it”. They apparently remain in denial about the fundamental reasons why the host community and experts from civil society at local and national level – as well as staff and students from the University itself – are opposed to this scheme.
I’ll have more to say about this in due course. But in the meantime,
- please keep an eye of the Save Chaucer Fields websites (including Facebook) – see Blog Roll (right hand side) for the links.
- please note that there are two ‘consultation events’ planned, now styled as ‘public exhibitions’. As reported earlier one will take place on 22 September, but a second will be staged on 24 September. Both are on campus – please click on the University link above for more details of exact timing and venue.
Hope to see you on 11th September for the Village Green meeting – Westgate Hall, 1pm onwards (see previous two Blogs for more details).
Chaucer Fields Picnic Society