The residents of Stanground have finally won their long fight for the protection of Tenter Hill Meadow when a call for the construction of 28 apartments on the public space was rejected.
Pat Corcoran, who started the Save Tenter Hills Meadow campaign, spoke of her home just a few yards from the protected meadow area and said, "I'm overjoyed with this decision and it just shows that people's power can eventually win about the big developers and their plans.
"We had 3,640 people sign our petition to stop a development that would have destroyed a piece of land used by so many people for so many different things."
Cllr Christian Hogg, who campaigned from the outset for the residents' fight against Medesham Homes, said, "Having just received the great news that the appeal to repeal the planning committee's decision to reject planning on Tenter Hill has come to an end The planning inspection was rejected, I have I am happy for all residents of Stanground.
"Anyone who signed the petitions, attended the council meetings and sent letters to the Planning Committee and the Planning Inspectorate should be congratulated.
"A special mention must of course be given to Pat Corcoran and her entire team of local volunteers to organize everything."
In his report, Planning Inspector Jonathon Parsons said: "The main problem is whether the site is suitable for residential use because it is used as a public open space.
"The loss of this public space is an overriding consideration. As a result, there would be a conflict with the overall development plan, so the building permit should be denied and this objection rejected. "
Tenter Hill Meadow, just north of Thistle Drive in Stanground, was "gifted" to the people of Peterborough many decades ago with a strong understanding that it should be "protected and maintained" by the City Council as an open space.
When Medesham Homes – a joint venture between Cross Keys Home and Peterborough City Council – submitted a planning proposal for 28 apartments on the site, which included six affordable apartments, the residents felt betrayed.
It quickly formed an action group, which was supported by Christian Hogg, James Lillis and the former city council John Whitby.
Residents then challenged the request on the grounds that they believed the council had an obligation under an old agreement "to protect the land forever for the people of Peterborough" and that the obligation had been violated.
On January 23, the city council received a petition signed by 3,640 people, asking them to reconsider the appeal against Medesham Homes. However, the appeal was filed at the expense of taxpayers in Peterborough.
This appeal has now been rejected, and this little piece of public open space used by scouts, walkers, riders, cyclists and local residents and their children, who play there and enjoy its unique features and wildlife, will remain undeveloped.
Pat added, "On behalf of all people using Tenter Hills Meadow, I would like to thank everyone who signed, protested and petitioned for a development that was neither wanted nor needed."