Marvellous news about the Penny Ferry / Pike and Eel … read about it in the Cambridge News:
thank you to everyone who helped with the campaign, who signed the petition, wrote letters and spread the word … now we just need to support the plan to turn it into boat house cum pub and make sure we all go and drink there from time to time.
As you may know, there are plans to demolish the Penny Ferry public house (the former Pike & Eel, at 110 Water Street/Fen Road) and to replace this old building with five new houses. The original application was approved, but since then the site (as well as Stourbridge Common itself) has been put into The Riverside and Stourbridge Conservation Area, and so a new application for demolition and site clearance has been made.
If you would like to object to this application, it is not too late. The City Council’s website (where you can usually use an automated comment form) indicates that the consultation period is closed, but in fact the date has been pushed back to 11 May. The Friends of Stourbridge Common has filed an objection, but the more voices the better!
You may submit comments directly to John Evans, Planning Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Put as your email subject line: “Objection to application No 12/0428/CAC”
(Application is for the demolition of the Penny Ferry public house and clearance of site).
There are numerous grounds on which to object: the loss of semi-public space by the edge of the river, the loss of another pub in Chesterton, the disruption to a beautiful landscape and vista that will occur (particularly when walking on the Common, which is now a Conservation Area). National Planning Policy Guidance says that demolition in a conservation area should only occur if there are acceptable detailed plans for the redevelopment of the site, and it is not clear that there are acceptable plans, as a row of large houses looming over the Common would have major impact on the views from the Common and for many would not be an acceptable plan.
This makes for interesting reading, and there are some really super photographs of the local area.
Well what an evening.
Last night we were so privileged to have Brian Eversham, the CEO of the (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough) Wildlife Trust talking at our Autumn Drinks evening on ‘Overlooked Wildlife’ … and what a talk it was.
The evening started with Ellie Stoneley standing in for Honorary Chair Julian Huppert MP, addressing the crowd (over 60 people came along to the evening) and giving a brief overview of all we’ve done at FoSC over the last year. Then Lisa our Treasurer and Membership Secretary talked through the accounts and Pete (our own resident wildlife and flora expert) described the condition of the scrapes on the Common, and went through the various creatures that have been spotted over the year including snipe and 2 grass snakes. Ellie then introduced Brian Eversham.
Brian had done some wonderful research for his talk by spending an afternoon on Stourbridge Common and taking some quite marvellous photographs of everything from the Common itself, to the tiny creatures that share it alongside the cows and all of us.
He described in marvellous detail and with tremendously engaging enthusiasm the detail which makes it possible to identify a female earwig from a male earwig, the minute differences between flies, non-biting gnats and what goes on on the head of a woolly thistle.
He urged the crowd, “If you don’t know insects at all then at least get to know the shield bug” and even caused everybody to feel awed and dare I say it even fond of the horse-chestnut leaf miner by showing us how it develops inside the leaf and then forms a tiny chrysalis and goes on to be come a perfect brown and white stripy moth which turns an iridescent green at sun set.
The talk was wonderful and left a Friday evening room full of people grinning from ear to ear and doubtless planning to head to the Common forthwith armed with magnifying glasses and cameras to hunt out garlic snails and woolly aphids.
Brian has also kindly offered to come and lead an Overlooked Wildlife walk for us on the Common in April or May next year.
So … huge thanks to Brian Eversham, to Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith the Mayor of Cambridge who also came and took part in our evening, to the FoSC committee and to all who attended.
I will be posting up some of the photographs which Brian showed us over coming days, but in the meantime you might enjoy his blog
Come along to the Leper Chapel on Newmarket Road (or over Stourbridge Common) and see the wonderful re-enactment of the Stourbridge Fair … all sorts of stalls and events, costumes and story tellers and of course a small stall with representatives of the Friends of Stourbridge Common.
Do say hello if you get there it runs from 12 – 4pm and will be huge fun.
There is no charge to get in to the event but parking in the area is limited so best to come on foot or by bike. The Fair is fun for children and adults and really is an interesting and enjoyable afternoon out.
Saturday 10th September 12-4pm.
Do come and join us on Friday 16th September for our Autumn evening talk and drinks … there is no charge.
The evening is only an hour from 7.30 – 8.30 and is held at St Andrew’s Hall on Church Street in Chesterton
Brian will be talking about the ‘Overlooked Wildlife’ of the area – he is a superb and very entertaining speaker.
We will be offering free refreshments and will also have a short AGM during the course of the evening.
It is a great chance to hear a superb speaker and meet other local people who enjoy Stourbridge Common … we hope you can make it.
You can read Brian’s excellent blog here
You can also follow the Wildlife Trust on Twitter @wildlifebcnp (and don’t forget that on Twitter we are @FofSC )
Hope to see you there… and please feel free to bring friends along with you … the more the merrier and it will be a hugely enjoyable evening.
We’ve also posted the event up on one of our two facebook pages