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Port Meadow Still Needs You! Save Port Meadow Campaign Update
Dear Friend, A year ago you signed this petition on Oxford University’s student blocks ruining Port Meadow, which started the Save Port Meadow Campaign. I’d like to send you an update; we’ve achieved a lot so far. Email firstname.lastname@example.org NOW to get your update and stay involved. The Campaign depends on people like you. Sushila Dhall, Save Port Meadow Campaign PS. Donations welcome http://www.justgiving.com/portmeadow
It is a Scheduled National Monument (rated above an SSSI) and is a spiritual and environmental haven which has been used by the people of Oxford for centuries.
It's place of outstanding beauty, greatly valued by all residents of Oxford, and is particularly noted for its open aspect. Up to now, its views have been sensitively protected.
But now the people who should have been protecting it on our behalf (Oxford City Council) have damaged views by allowing the building of a series of massive blocks around the perimeter of the south east corner of Port Meadow. The historic 'dreaming spire' view from the Meadow of the grade 2* listed St Barnabas Church tower has been all but obliterated from sight. Previously, when Waterways was developed close to the perimeter of Port Meadow, care was specifically taken to protect the view from Port Meadow from this destructive type of massing. The current build completely changes the character of the Meadow.
for images see: www.portmeadow.org/damaged_views
1. Oxford City Chief Planning Officer signed a form saying no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was needed as Port Meadow is "not a sensitive area and mitigation can be provided"
2. No detailed landscaping/mitigation has been proposed.
3. Oxford City Council failed to consult widely about this.
We ask that you sign our petition to request:
• A retrospective EIA is urgently carried out now and recommendations made which the City Council would have to ensure are carried out.
• Details of landscaping should be agreed which would hide the buildings in summer and soften their impact in winter.
• Oxford City Council should be given training in proper consultation, and how to carry it out effectively.
Dear Friend of Port Meadow,
Port Meadow Still Needs You! - Save Port Meadow Campaign Update
You were one of over 3,000 who, over a year ago, showed your love of Port Meadow by signing this petition against Oxford University’s five-storey accommodation development that now dominates the views and ruins Port Meadow as a tranquil retreat. The strength of that petition set in motion the Save Port Meadow Campaign.
We have been given the opportunity to email you an update through the Care2 petition site, and I wanted to give you a brief update. The Campaign has achieved a lot and your early action contributed to that. (If you already get Save Port Meadow emails, thank you, please pass this on!).
We hope you will choose to keep up to date with the campaign directly by emailing email@example.com now. We’ll let you know what’s going on and from time to time, what you can do to help. The Campaign’s momentum depends on the vocal support of people like you.
The buildings are complete and occupied now, but the fight continues, as you might have seen in the local press all year. The Campaign has kept constant pressure on the Council to expose their failings and press for proper action to put things right. As the Oxford Times has said, it has been the worst planning case in Oxford for forty years, a huge embarrassment for the Council.
The Save Port Meadow Campaign has:
- Exposed errors made by Oxford University and City Council in their planning application and process using the Freedom of Information Act. They failed to acknowledge contamination, consult statutory bodies, and failed to meet planning conditions.
- Pursued the Council to the High Court, in partnership with the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, for failing to follow proper process, which resulted in a retrospective Environmental Impact Assessment by the University.
- Called for and won a Review into the failings of the Council’s planning procedures, which confirmed that public consultation was inadequate and that Councillors were not properly informed.
- Maintained high media profile, in local and national media, helped by the Port Meadow blocks coming a close second in the national “Carbuncle Cup” award for worst building of the year; and a visit by Planning Minister Nick Boles, who called the development “a disgrace” and called on the Council and University to apologise.
- Held Councillors to account through the Planning Committee and many emails from Campaign supporters, forcing them in turn to hold Council Officers to account.
The Campaign is continuing to keep the Port Meadow planning fiasco in the spotlight. We are determined to press the Council and University to undo the harm done to Port Meadow, with meaningful measures that address the visual impact as well as light and sound pollution for local residents.
Port Meadow still needs you! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org NOW to keep involved in the Campaign.
With thanks, and best wishes,
For the Save Port Meadow Campaign
PS Campaign donations welcome here: http://www.justgiving.com/portmeadow
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