Protesters lodge more than 100 objections to Olympic-standard Climbing Wall plans at Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows

Protesters have lodged more than 100 objections to plans for an Olympic-standard Climbing Wall in Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows country park.

Saturday, 6th April 2019, 7:12 am
Updated Saturday, 6th April 2019, 7:57 am
This image shows how the Climbing Wall might appear from Gunwade Lake, in Ferry Meadows.

Many of the 107 letters from residents complain about the appearance of the proposed 34.25 metres high tower that Nene Park managers hope to construct near Gunwade Lake.

Some also raise worries about the amount of extra traffic the £5 million facility, called the Lakeside Activity Centre, is likely to generate.

Residents have been backed by leading heritage and environment agencies that have submitted objections to planning authority Peterborough City Council.

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Historic England and the council’s Archaeological Services warn the current car park, where it is proposed to build the Climbing Wall, could contain historic remains.

The Environment Agency warns a flood risk assessment for centre users needs to be carried out and OrtonWaterville Parish Council has objected to the ‘dominating’ height of the climbing wall, and the likely increase in traffic. An objection has also been received from local landowners Milton (Peterborough) Estates, which is concerned about what it says is a lack of accurate information about the visibility of the development from other areas.

Chris Newman, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said: “A petition against the proposal is now being circulated amongst users of the tranquil country park, which was established in 1988 to provide quiet enjoyment of the countryside and wildlife for the people of Peterborough.

“Many objectors comment on the extreme ugliness of the building and the inappropriateness of building it in a beautiful country park, in the middle of a major floodplain asking why it cannot be built on an industrial site with good road and public transport links?”

Matthew Bradbury, chief executive of Nene Park, said: “We know that with this project and others we cannot please all parties and when we are trying to do something bigger and braver for Peterborough it is going to get attention, both positive and negative. Building design and investing in architecture is highly subjective and emotive and we have received both positive and negative feedback on the design.”

Mr Bradbury, who is also an independent director of the British Mountaineering Council, said: “This unpaid, voluntary, position is unrelated to the Nene Park Trust Activity Centre project. The BMC have no financial and/or commercial interest in the project and Nene Park - and Nene Park has no financial and/or commercial interest through this project, or otherwise, in BMC.”