Peterborough United co-owner says fears over new stadium ‘based on misconceptions’
This week the Peterborough Telegraph covered a letter from The Save Peterborough Embankment Group which outlined their concerns about plans for a new Peterborough United Stadium at the Embankment.
In response, Posh co-owner Stewart Thompson has sent the group a letter which is carried in full below:
An Open Letter to “Save the Embankment” Group
Thank you for your kind wishes re Peterborough United FC’s weekend endeavours. You and many others in the region provided good wishes to the club, and we both know that you have Peterboroughians that support the club but not necessarily either the new stadium or the placement of it, and I want you to know that myself and my partners are respectful of that position.
However, it seems that the position may be coming from a space of misinformation. There seems to be a number of misconceptions I feel need to be cleared up before the public goes to the polls this week.
1) The New Stadium and its Proponents are anti green: I enjoyed the quote placed in your letter where you quote yourself with “Any sustainability claims on the part of the stadium will merely be an example of Greenwashing in an attempt to win planning permission.” You also use the words contempt, misleading or other “we must be bad because we are private” overtones intended to give readers a sense that we have no green acumen or concern.
We have hired a consultant who is at the leading edge of green technologies (green roofs, walls, recycling) and are working with a firm that has recognized small footprints are important. Jason and I have invested in green technology startups and have treated the Embankment as the embodiment of Peterborough’s heart, even though that heart has been mistreated currently. We envision Putney Park on the way to Fulham ground, not a place to hide your children from
2) The City is Selling the Land: Where have you seen this? It may be the best outcome, but the other one might be a long-term lease. What is the University doing on their part of the land? Why is that model ok, or even for that matter why is the University ok but not the stadium? Your group has rushed to a multitude of conclusions that lead to scaremongering when a dialogue could prove most useful. The City will do what’s in the best interest of the people of Peterborough.
3) There is an Attempt to Hide Information: You claim that “the recent Peterborough Conservative Party and Peterborough United joint webinar failed to answer any of the questions submitted by the group members.” And you go on to say “It was a publicity stunt and no representative of the club or Conservative Party have faced live on-the-spot questioning over the project from its opponents.”
I’ve never heard from you, or your group (in fact you’ve gone out of your way not to mention a single member of your group or a contact?). Most Posh fans will tell you I’m very accessible, willing to talk, and enjoy discourse in large crowds. I would have loved to have had a conversation with your group or your Party. The Conservatives reached out, we support the broader Masterplan and the Stadium inside of that plan, it took less than a week of planning. You are welcome to the same accessibility. And for the record we answered all the submitted questions
4) There is Not Enough Greenspace in Peterborough: Daily the site you would like to see as Park space is empty. What is ironic is that the Stadium, the University, the Key Theater and the Lido will make this Park more accessible and desirable to residents. It seems you might be arguing against your own success.
I look forward to discussing this with any person in Peterborough who feels they are not being heard on this issue. I appreciate that you did not like the political nature of the webinar. I probably felt the same about your letter. But it is political, and this Thursday citizens will vote for business enhancements inside of a Master Plan or a more green Peterborough.
I believe you can have both, and that is what I find the most misleading component of your letter.
R Stewart Thompson
Peterborough United FC