Council reject new sports centre plans
22nd January 2015
The University of Nottingham has blasted Nottingham City Council after the planning committee rejected its planning application for a new £40 million sports centre on University Park campus on Wednesday.
The plans were thrown out by seven votes to six amid councillors’ concerns over the felling of three ancient oak trees to make way for the facilities.
But in a fiery statement, university registar Dr Paul Greatrix has accused the council of hypocrisy. The authority recently felled at least 40 trees on University Boulevard for tram and ring road improvements.
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM STATEMENT:
Sports Editor Patrick Hildred spoke to Cllr Sally Longford, who voted against the plans, to find out the reasons for her decision. He put the university’s accusation of hypocrisy to the Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey representative, and asked why the ancient trees were judged to outweigh the benefits of the new sports centre.
Sally Longford explained that the trees were “veteran trees”, older than those felled by the Council for tram works, but admitted she could see how the decision came across badly. The Councillor expressed her desire for plans to be submitted that did not require the three trees to be brought down.
CLLR SALLY LONGFORD INTERVIEW:
Reacting to the news on Thursday evening’s URN Sport, Sam asked Calum, Ben and James for their thoughts.
URN SPORT PANEL’S REACTION:
Speaking on Friday, Students’ Union Sports Officer Kiri Madhani said she was disappointed in Nottingham City Council and annoyed at the way their decision was made, saying that councillors “clearly haven’t read the proposal that we put forward.”
Kiri revealed that one of the three trees concerned is already due to come down due to a disease, and argued that the green credentials of the new build would have been much improved on the current centre.
Speaking to URN, the Sports Officer said: “We will be working extremely hard to try and figure out a way to get round this so we can keep the development as on track as possible.
“It’s either going to be that we re-submit some amended plans or that we appeal. I imagine we’ll re-submit some amended plans because the appeals process is so long.”
SPORTS OFFICER KIRI MADHANI: