The postgraduate accommodation development has faced numerous appealsMeg Byrom for Varsity

Queens’ College could face further opposition to their accommodation plans, with a local campaign group planning an appeal to the Owlstone Croft development.

Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve, a local organisation, are preparing a “final determined effort” against the College to halt the plans.

Since its inception, the planned construction of four accommodation blocks, housing 60 postgraduate students, has been fraught with controversy and delay.

The college’s planning application was initially rejected by Cambridge City Council, however, this decision was overturned on appeal in November last year.

The process of construction would require the demolition of a college-owned nursery and the felling of several trees, which has led to fears surrounding the negative impact on children’s education and surrounding biodiversity.

The campaigners hope to succeed in claiming a judicial review on the grounds of “ecology and amenity”.

Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £20,000 in funding for a legal challenge.

David Carmona, a resident who campaigned against the development, described the “fractious” strategy of those in opposition to the plans, with individuals “seeking to score points” and “enhance their own personal reputation” over a cohesive campaign.

“People are being sidelined on purpose,” he told Varsity, saying that the campaign would “have to be reckoned with [if] everyone could get together” and make “a lot of noise and trouble”. The current legal challenge is a “sound delaying tactic, if anything” he added.


Mountain View

Cambridge has a ‘workload problem’, forum finds

Emma Munday, a Queens’ student who has lived in Owlstone Croft and spoken at planning meetings for the development, criticised the “unnecessary attack” by Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve.

Munday told Varsity: “It’s disappointing to see further unnecessary attacks on this development, and it speaks to the failure of Britain’s planning system that my college is being forced into further legal action and costs for wanting to provide better accommodation for its students.”

“Cambridge has a chronic housing shortage, and new postgraduate accommodation is essential to fulfilling its potential as a global centre of research,” she said.