Peterborough climbing centre opposed by Chris Packham is approved

  • Published
Nene ParkImage source, Nene Park Trust
Image caption,
The climbing facility on Ferry Meadows would be built next to Gunwade Lake and would include several climbing walls, a function room and children's play area

A climbing centre planned for a country park that was opposed by wildlife expert Chris Packham has been approved.

Proposals for the 34m (110ft)-tall Indoor Activity Centre at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough attracted hundreds of objections, with some calling it a "a vanity project".

Peterborough City Council has voted to grant planning permission.

The Nene Park Trust, the charity behind the scheme, said it would "give health and wellbeing" to the city.

Image caption,
The naturalist lodged an official objection to the plans

The plans approved by the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee would see an "Olympic-standard" wall constructed.

At the time of his objection in January 2020, the BBC TV naturalist said it would "urbanise a precious area of green open space with mature trees, oak meadow and protected quality rich habitat for wildlife, including bats".

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said that another of the opponents, Simon Martin, told the hearing it was "a vanity project - a white elephant".

Image source, Nene Park Trust
Image caption,
Climbing will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

David Turnock, chairman of Peterborough Civic Society, said: "This windowless tower projecting from the midst of our beautiful park has been rightly objected to by over 450 people in Orton Waterville alone."

Jackie Bland, who spoke on behalf of the board of the trust, said: "This facility will provide us with more opportunities to give health and wellbeing to the people of Peterborough by broadening the reach of our recreational facilities."

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