Stanground residents rejoice after planning appeal victory against Peterborough City Council and Cross Keys Homes
The residents of Stanground have finally won their long battle to protect Tenter Hill Meadow, as an appeal to build 28 flats on the public open space has been dismissed.
Speaking from her home just meters from the protected meadowland, Pat Corcoran, who started the ‘Save Tenter Hills Meadow’ campaign, said: “I’m over the moon with this decision and it just goes to show that people power can win out eventually over the big developers and their plans.
“We had 3,640 people sign our petition to stop a development that would’ve obliterated a piece of land used by so many people for so many different things.”
Cllr Christian Hogg who has championed the residents’ fight against Medesham Homes from the beginning, said: “Having just received the great news that the appeal to overturn the planning committee’s decision to refuse planning on Tenter Hill has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, I am delighted for all the residents of Stanground.
“Everybody who signed the petitions, turned up to the council meetings and submitted letters to the planning committee and the Planning Inspectorate should be congratulated.
“A special mention of course has to go to Pat Corcoran and all of her team of local volunteers for organising it all.”
In his report, Planning Inspector Jonathon Parsons said: “The main issue is whether the site is suitable for housing having regard to its use as public open space.
“The loss of that public open space is an overriding consideration. As a result there would be a conflict with the development plan as a whole, therefore planning permission should be refused and this appeal dismissed.”
Tenter Hill Meadow, north of Thistle Drive in Stanground, was “gifted to the people of Peterborough” many decades ago on the strict understanding that it was to have been “protected and maintained” as an open space by the city council.
When a planning application for 28 flats on the site, to include six affordable homes, was made by Medesham Homes - a joint housing venture from Cross Keys Home and Peterborough City Council - residents felt betrayed.
An action group was quickly formed, supported by Cllr Christian Hogg, Cllr James Lillis and former councillor John Whitby.
The residents then contested the application on the basis that they believed the council had an obligation, through ancient agreement, “to protect the land in perpetuity, for the people of Peterborough” and that the obligation had been broken.
A petition signed by 3,640 people was submitted to the city council on January 23 asking it to re-consider the appeal against Medesham Homes, but the appeal was lodged regardless, and at Peterborough taxpayers’ expense.
That appeal has now been dismissed, and this small piece of public open land used by Scouts, dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and local residents and their children who play there and enjoy its unique features and wildlife will remain undeveloped.
Pat added: “On behalf of all the people who use Tenter Hills Meadow I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition, protested and made the voice of the people win out over a development that was neither wanted, nor needed.”