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College to build on Queen's Lawn

Apr 23 2006 12:49
Bob the Builder
Live! has learnt the latest college masterplan includes buildings on all green spaces
Is this what the Queen's Lawn will look like?

The College have submitted a planning application to Westminster council to allow them to place buildings on the Queen's Lawn. In a letter accompanying the application, Emma Morton from the College Estates departments says "In order for the college to fulfil its ambitious development programme over the next 2 years, additional space is needed".

The planning application, which has so far cost the college in excess of £9,010 in fees, will require the removal of a tree that was planted in memory of a student, and impact on the already limited light to the library. It seems little consideration has been given for the eye-soar that this will provide in the college?s centenary year, and the impact on important events such as the Summer Ball and Fresher?s Fair, that use the space that the buildings will be placed on.

There will also be an impact to union activities, such as the Croquet society who regularly use the lawn for their core activity, and the annual C&G Egg Race. It is not known whether the union have been consulted on this proposal, but it is possible given the current climate at ICU that it may have been bought up at one of the closed session Executive meetings. The lack of planning notices that have to be displayed by law during the consultation process, was also highlighted by one student Live! spoke to this week about the proposal.

It is not known why car parking spaces cannot be used to house these buildings, but it may be because they are currently a good money spinner for the college, that will help fund their unwanted Wye Mega Science and Housing Park, the planned new Exhibition Road entrance, or even the proposed new Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering frontage next to the Tanaka Business School.

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Discussion about “College to build on Queen's Lawn”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Apr 23 2006 13:42
 

I hope this is a very late April Fool's joke. If it isn't, I'm absolutely flabbergasted that the College would countenance losing such an important area of green space within the College.

I think one of the questions that needs to be asked is how this development would affect the next-door listed structure - the Queen's Tower - and whether someone should get the English Heritage involved as they'll more than likely have objections to any plans.

Also, students, staff and alumni should seriously consider a campaign to have the lawn declared a protected open space within London (forgotten the name of the Act of Parliament, if I remember I'll post it).

2. Bob   
Apr 23 2006 13:54
 

This is NOT a joke. Follow the first link in the article. You have until Monday 24th April at 5pm to object should you wish. This can be done on line - follow the link!

3. Bob   
Apr 23 2006 14:05
 

To object click here and choose "comment on this case" on the right hand side.

Apr 23 2006 14:05
 

Whilst in no way in favour of the plan it should be noted that the buildings to be constructed are temoporary.

However, The letter states that they are to house admin staff which begs the question why was this not taken into account when the blue cube was built and extra space provided or, if space is short, before they filled the Space where Tanaka stands with a huge amount of glass enclosed air?

Apr 23 2006 14:28
 

Aye the proposal also says that it is about a third of the Queens Lawn that will be eaten up by the temporary buildings, which should be there for 2 years. They should've built more storeys in blue cube really.

6. James   
Apr 23 2006 14:41
 

Oh dear, another PR disaster - and if the union doesn't say something about it it'll be another PR disaster for them too.

Where did all the people in the blue cube come from? Surely they must have vacated space in Sherfield, what has that been converted to? Or have we really hired that many more admin staff?

Sooner or later Imperial must recognise that whilst being in South Kensington is great, there is limited scope for expansion. Perhaps it's time to consider moving people (probably starting with admin) elsewhere...

Apr 23 2006 14:45
 

We are leaving UL next year. We will need some extra admin to cover what UL do for us. Also with Humanaties being moved to Level 5 of the Library to free up space in Mech Eng for Aero, space will no doubt be limited. Funny how we have just built a pink building to house spin-outs in SK tho - considering we are "short" of space!

Apr 23 2006 14:51
 

Just in case people are interested, my comments on the proposal:

I am writing in my capacity as a recent Alumnus of Imperial.

I find the application objectionable for the following reasons:

1 - It requires the removal of a tree planted in memorial of a student of the College, who passed away whilst studying there. Whilst it is possible to remove trees and replant them, this only works for trees that are only recently planted. Therefore, this application actually requires the destruction of this memorial.

2 - The College does not utilise the space in it's new buildings fully. If there was such a pressing need for space, one has to query the ideas behind many of the decisions taken for the Imperial College property in the past number of years. Many new buildings represent a large waste of space. Surely it would be better to carry out remedial work to improve space efficiency than to lose green space.

3 - There will be a serious detrimental effect to the environs of the development, both for the staff of the College, as well as the Students. This is in particular with regards to the Central Library of the campus. It is bad enough to work in there without the added loss of light that this development represents. It should also be noted that the Queen's Lawn represents a key social space on the campus, especially during the summer months. There is, I notice, no plans to replace the space lost for the duration of the development.

4 - The alternatives for the development are far superior. In particular, the large walkway (more akin to a plaza) outside the main admin administration block would be the best solution, as staff movement would be kept to a minimum, and this would have the least effect on the overall campus environment. Also, there are road spaces that could easily be used without the disruption that the planned development calls for. It should also be noted that any complaints from the College over possible loss of parking areas should be discounted, as Imperial, in it's role as an institution of scientific learning, should be promoting staff and students to use public transport, cycles, and walking to get to the College.

5 - This development does nothing to support the core aims of the College - To promote and teach Science, Engineering and Medicine. It is designed to take into account administrative staff, which, it should be noted, had a new building built just 12 months ago. It would be wise for the planning committee to question why this admin building was obviously poorly deigned, and the space underused.

I believe the planning committee should reject the proposal, not only on these above points, but that the proposal is badly thought out, with no proper consideration of the effects, no proper consideration of the alternatives. There is also the question of lack of Planning notices, which, I am led to believe, is a breach of Planning Laws. This in itself should be cause for the rejection of the proposal.

Apr 23 2006 15:07
 

Having just popped out to the Queen's Lawn to examine the proposed development, and to have a quick chat with the lions there, I can confirm that I could not see a single planning application notice. In addition there are 3 memorials on the proposed site, consisting of two trees (one student, one staff member), and one rose (staff member).

Reminds me of when they put in the Stealth Chiller by Physics. There used to be a tree and plaque on that patch of grass in memory of a student who jumped off Blacket a few years ago. I haven't seen it return since the chiller arrived.

10. C!   
Apr 23 2006 17:04
 

Hmmm, where does it say admin staff. The application only refers to "offices" so surely it could be housing researchers? Possibly people being removed from a department that is being refurbished?

OTOH I don't like the idea of losing the only central green space left (Princes Gate Gardens and Beit are too far away to count) so I filled in the grumble form

Apr 23 2006 19:53
 

This is great news. If you want a green space, go to Hyde Park - there's tons of sunlight and green there. Otherwise don't get in the way of Imperial becoming the UK's MIT. We should buy out the Albert Hall (turn it into a cyclotron or an animal testing laboratory) and also the Royal College of Arts (we need more bike racks). Noone goes to the Natural History Museum do they - turn that into the Rector's Palace. We also need somewhere to feed UCL students to lions - any ideas?

12. Jon   
Apr 23 2006 19:58
 

There is plenty of space both under and on the walkway outside the new Admin building, there is also space in various places underground, such as the sherfield cellars. Put the admin staff in there!

Nice followup for "green week"

13. Lemon   
Apr 23 2006 20:14
 

Considering the College just hosted a commercial event (Cardiovascular? I'm sure everyone who was around the area must have seen the signs and throngs of suits just last week) on the Queen's Lawn, it might be possible to argue that it does indeed have commercial value as well! While I appreciate space is indeed limited, I refuse to believe that the extra admin required (perhaps for covering UL work) really needs to sit on the Queen's Lawn in a temporary structure (complete with trailing electricity cables and the rest) Now that the Sports Centre has been completed, the mobile units next to the medical centre for the builders have been removed. Perhaps that could be an alternative place?

14. KS   
Apr 23 2006 21:36
 

Totally against this..

Apr 23 2006 21:45
 

Well, contrary to the article, they will put a portacabin in the carprak (see application form). But it will probably be a small one, right next to it, not the one opposite chemistry building. Never the less, this does suck, with the only green space going.

Apr 23 2006 22:27
 

Damn hippies we dont need grass!

17. ...   
Apr 24 2006 00:17
 

No offence to the writers of this article and the people from Live! but y'all need to get your heads out of your asses and realise that you're getting all excited about... oh yes that great holy grail of gossip! a planning application. Add in the fact that ICU hasn't officially said anything... who said it was for them to tell College how to run their buildings?

You all might do well to oh... i dunno do some studying instead of get all green and environmental and defensive over a situation where it's plainly clear not one of you has a full idea of what's going on and are just speculating over whispers, rumours, blah blah etc etc.

DO SOME WORK!!!

Apr 24 2006 00:43
 

Are you talking out of your a**e? It's not just rumours and whispers. It's a pretty complete planning application that's been submitted for over am month without college telling anyone. It's not too much hastle to tell from the docments exactly what's planned.

And so what if some of us care about the environment we have to work in. It's not just being green (I hardly think the contribution of 1 tree will save East Anglia from rising sea levels) but the desire to have some respite from the concrete monstrosity that surrounds us. Any other university (especially in the states) seems to respect open spaces... but not us.

Do you have any idea how mad it drives you spending your life in:

a) a dark laboratory

b) a windowless lecture theatre

c) an underground study room

Just walking past Queen's Lawn genuinely makes you feel better, and if it doesn't for you then maybe you should urgently check your pulse.

I recently showed a US student (from Brown) round campus and they were genuinely impressed on the whole. I'd be ashamed to do that with some pre-fabricated monstrosity parked on our only open space.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And I don't want to do work.

19. Lemon   
Apr 24 2006 01:39
 

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4741/thebuilding8bq.jpg

This is a screenshot from one of the submitted PDF documents (Photos). It's what the proposed temporary structure would probably look like - I for one would not want something like this sitting on the Queen's Lawn. It would be an absolute eyesore despite its planned (only) 1/3 occupation of the Queen's Lawn.

And with regards to '...' - I agree with Caffeine God that this is not just 'gossip'. What is quite astonishing is that there have been no public displays of 'planning application' notices in the immediate vicinity of the Queen's Lawn, despite the month deadline coming up... tomorrow at 5pm.

20. Chris   
Apr 24 2006 08:36
 

Holy grail of gossip??? It's a planning application which is something you only do if you plan to act on it! ... Get your head out ur a**e and join the real world and realise that if Westminster Council approve this it will happen, it's not just some sort of test case.

21. Alex   
Apr 24 2006 09:06
 

What makes this so unreasonable is not that they're planning to use the Queen's Lawn - I accept that it's a big open space in South Ken, and that there aren't too many of those.

What makes it unreasonable is that once again the College have high-handedly declared their intentions with no consideration of their impact on students, with no consultation of the students, and with no opportunity for students to object in a reasonable and constructive manner.

Once again, to misquote Kanye West, we've seen that College doesn't care about students.

Apr 24 2006 09:39
 

hahaahha - they're going to build another lego block on the queens lawn to house admin trash. hahaha. they're building a portacabin and the union can't say anything cos college owns its ass now. hahaha.

23. tom t   
Apr 24 2006 10:19
 

In response to all the hilarious posters along the lines of do some work:

QL is about the only social, non drinking space available in College that's outside, not next to an urban motorway, and pleasant to be in. Poratcabins will not enhance it, but steal light from the library so many people are supposed to 'do some work' in.

College has probably contravened planning regs by not displaying the familiar bright orange posters announcing that planning permission is being sought.

As for getting all 'green and environmental and defensive' about it - well I hope you don't mind me pointing out ... just how dependent you are on green and environmental spaces for your very own food supply, and there are regulations about building on 'green belt' and agricultural land for very good reasons. Tell you what, I'll 'do some work' and you give up eating. Deal?

24. Eugene   
Apr 24 2006 12:33
 

Here's what I posted to the council; it's a bit long but hopefully they will take note of what I said!

I write as Chairman of Imperial College Croquet Society, one of the clubs and societies run by Imperial College Union for staff and students.

Our club regularly plays and practises on the Queen?s Lawn, the site on which the proposed temporary accommodation would be built. We hold weekly sessions there throughout summer and during the first few weeks of October, providing staff and students alike with an opportunity to relax and enjoy the solitary green space within the College. Whilst the College has left approximately 2/3 of the Queen?s Lawn untouched in its site plan, we are however still concerned that this will directly affect the activities of the club, and threaten its existence.

With the Queen?s Lawn being the only green space on campus, the College and the Student Union often hold functions and events there; I refer to the marquees (which occupy 2/3 of the current lawn ? all that would be left if the application went ahead) which are erected week in, week out during the summer, and also events such as the annual Freshers? Ball and Summer Ball which all utilise the lawn. Students and staff relax on the lawn throughout the summer; it is a spot where one can meet friends or work undisturbed. In conclusion, the Queen?s Lawn is an open space which has stiff competition over its use.

Our Croquet Club, when carrying out our day-to-day activities, require a rectangular area of grass to serve as the lawn on which we play. Dimensions of a full-size lawn are 35 by 28 yards, or 32 by 25 metres. To accommodate other users of the Queen?s Lawn, we are sometimes forced to use a reduced-size lawn when we play however, as they have the same rights to the open space as we have. With the current Queen?s Lawn, we are struggling to get by with the amount of lawn space we take up, especially when aforementioned marquees are erected. We have previously used the south west corner of the lawn, the very space which will be occupied by the new 3-storey building if the application goes ahead, to keep out of the way of other activities mentioned above. Bearing in mind that marquees are erected for several days at a time, they severely inhibit any other use of the Queen?s Lawn when they are up. The new 3-story building will completely remove any remaining open space left on the Queen?s Lawn when College-booked activities are taking place, thus stopping our club from carrying out our activities. This is potentially stifling to the club, as we will not be able to attract any members if we cannot guarantee them any activity.

The College have not come up with a viable solution to this problem, either by providing us with another open space within College to play on (unlikely) or funding us to relocate to a nearby croquet club, where we would be subject to fees beyond our present capability. I would therefore urge the council to reject this application, as the College have not given enough consideration to the users of the lawn in question ? both the Croquet club and other members of the Imperial College staff and student community.

On top of this, I am also concerned that a notice of submission of application for planning permission was not displayed anywhere within the College, nor was it circulated to the clubs, societies and students who use Queen?s Lawn every day for various activities. We have been given little or no time to raise our objections about this proposed planning application; indeed, we only discovered this application when a news website run by students of the Engineering Faculty posted the story yesterday (Sunday 23rd April). I fear that the College never sought to seek approval from its thousands of staff and students before going ahead with the application. In light of these facts, I would also urge the council to extend the period during which it will accept objections.

To erect flimsy Portacabins on our centrepiece ?show lawn? next to the Grade II listed Queen?s Tower is controversial and no doubt will be raising other objections from staff and students who will be concerned with the environmental and preservation issues surround the application. Students at the College take pride in the Queen?s Lawn and Tower, as they are one of the last remaining reminders of the roots of the college; in our centenary year next year, we will no doubt be celebrating the heritage of the college, and would not like to see our lawns spoilt by temporary structures which will simply be a monstrosity.

25. Lemon   
Apr 24 2006 13:10
 

Does anyone know if it is possible to object at all after the stated time of 5pm today? If not to the Council, at least directly to the College? Do petitions work?

Apr 24 2006 13:13
 

Give the Estates guys a break will you. I used to work for them and believe me, they will have given very careful consideration to space utilisation in existing areas before embarking on the costly process of new / temporary build options. If anyones has a memory long enough to remember Dalby Court: this should put your concerns into perspective.

27. Ben   
Apr 24 2006 13:37
 

No-one is really having a go at estates yet. I'm sure this is a decision which went to the very top anyway. It just seems to be an absolutely stupid Idea.

On the subject of space utilisation: College's overall space utilisation is at a measly 8% (compared to HEFCE good practice of 35%). I'm sure this can be improved on to find pspce for some admin staff. Or failing that there is plenty of spare commercial office space around. If they don't need to be on campus (do they?) why not just put them in Hammersmith for a few years?

Apr 24 2006 13:41
 

Ken, even if we for one moment entertain the thought that this is the only option in the current possition it does not excuse the fact that development has been planed in such a way that a shortfall of space has occured and it is even less excusable that no consultation or even mention has taken place and that this has only come out due to a student media site rather than through an official route.

Apr 24 2006 13:43
 

I like the way you're thinking ben, put them miles away like they did with freshers to cover the shortage in halls space.

Apr 24 2006 14:48
 

I can see the headlines: "College outsources all administration to India".

Wouldn't be a bad thing - would save space in South Ken, and save money on wages. Maybe we should suggest it to the college!

Apr 24 2006 15:02
 

All I can say is: "Good to see the Sabbs have kept everything quiet". I am sure they have been told about it before, and I am shocked that our representatives are not representing us...

Apr 24 2006 15:11
 

The bastards must have known about it before now - but they'll have kept it quiet as they're too busy scabbing money off college for a new Union.

Lemon - i like your style, if ICU wont do anything then we'll have to.

I see English Hertiage getting involved, I see rows of students, chaining themselves Swampy-style to a tree, I see a victory for student pressure against College bad planning and even worse communication! Who's with me???

33. tom t   
Apr 24 2006 15:13
 

be careful of quoting the space utilisation audit. Whilst some space is woefully underused, such as the enormous greenhouse called the Tanaka foyer, the space audit did things like count the empty lecture theatres between 12 and 2pm, even though it's College policy NOT to teach core lectures in those times or on Weds afternoons etc, and add those times into the overall space use results.

just my tuppence worth

Apr 24 2006 15:51
 

a really long eBay link

Nice print here, this is how college should look! Note the high bidder - currently one of our dear Sabbs. Maybe there arent any important things for them to do after all...

Apr 24 2006 16:09
 

For those who haven't had a look yet, this PDF shows the size and position of the proposed buildings.

36. Ant   
Apr 24 2006 16:52
 

Leaving plenty of space to put a huge temporary money making structure.

Who said College never think things through?

Apr 24 2006 17:07
 

After concerns from students, I've approached College to seek clarification on the subject.

At the moment all College is doing is applying for planning permission for the portacabins (not buildings), as this takes a lot of time. They are still debating as to where the portacabins will be placed - College are applying for permission in various areas, because they are aware that as the Centenary year approaches, the Queen's Lawn is one of the nicest places on Campus and would be helpful for any events planned around that year. Portacabins won't be built on the grass, but the area surrounding the lawn, but with some overlap onto the grass. The portacabins are there for decanting for works proposed to various buildings e.g. Bessemer, RSM - basically redevelopment of Academic space. It is unsure what the portacabins will house because a direct decant from these buildings is not always the best option e.g. it may be better to relocate admin to the portacabins, and relocate departments internally. Taking the decant off site would be expensive and also difficult to access.

Just to clarify on a few other points:

  • The proposals will not affect the Summer Ball, the dates will NOT overlap.
  • This will not prevent the Freshers Fair from happening, and if it affects our plans in a small way we have ample time to plan around it - there is enough space available for Freshers Fair.
  • Memorials - If, and only if, they need to be relocated, they will be relocated to suitable alternative locations, either temporarily (i.e. brought back to the Queen's Lawn later) or permanently, depending on the circumstances.
  • The grass area of Queen's lawn will still remain, so we will still be able to enjoy the social area it provides.
  • Princes Gardens should be ready in October/November, so this area will be available for us to use.
  • Croquet Club - grass area will still be available, but we'll need to talk to Croquet club to determine whether this will be sufficient, the affects on the club and how we can accomodate them.

If anyone has any questions, you know what my email address is... .uk

Apr 24 2006 17:10
 

Ah yes, you'd be surprised what you can find on eBay you know! Only last month I found a postcard picturing Beit North (without the East or West wings or a quad for that matter), how exciting! And the one before that, a 1960's edition of Phoenix...

I daresay could this be a philanthropic streak blended with cost sensitivity to perfection? Haha...

Now folks, really... studying! I'm not responsible for education and welfare but I'm sure Sarah would advise you this is not the most productive thing to be doing!

Laters peeps,

T

39. Bob   
Apr 24 2006 17:23
 

Much as I love our esteemed President, the plans contridict what she says:

"Memorials - If, and only if, they need to be relocated, they will be relocated to suitable alternative locations, either temporarily (i.e. brought back to the Queen's Lawn later) or permanently, depending on the circumstances.

The grass area of Queen's lawn will still remain, so we will still be able to enjoy the social area it provides."

The plans show a building on the grass by the Library. This is a fact...

Apr 24 2006 17:30
 

I have been made aware that friends who tried to comment on the proposals via City of Westminster's site, were unable to access the comment site until after the deadline of 5pm today, and thus were not given an opportunity to voice their concerns.

I can understand college covering it's bases, but it should use ample consultation with those that are likely effected, or at least not conceal it's agenda(s). We should all be working together for a common goal of advancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine etc. We should not be a money making machine as a primary target (although obviously the first goal does require money) and we should be a united force as far as is possible. What do you think it looks like to the outside world when college does not communicate with it's students.

Apr 24 2006 17:39
 

Come on Tim, posting in Live! discussions is therapeutic.

Then there are those of us without exams of course...

Sameena - any idea when the other planning applications will go in. The Westminster planning applications list only has the one we're discussing here, which clearly shows one portacabin firmly and entirely on the grass (unless they've coloured the steps green). This was submitted on 17th March.

Did College have anything to say about the lack of planning notices?

Additionally, when the Faculty Building was announced it was supposed to be for decanting staff from Sherfield, so other departments could move in while they were being refurbished. This seems to be what they're saying about the new planning application as well. Did their plans change, or did they just plan poorly in the first place?

If they're applying in several places, then it shouldn't matter too much if this one gets rejected...

I also note whilst poking around that the faculty building was originally proposed to have orange, yellow and red cladding (PDF page 4, first para).

42. TOM T   
Apr 24 2006 17:43
 

Hee hee

Sameena really was spoon fed on this one!

'Portacabins aren't buildings' she writes! Indeed they're not. They're substandard, damp, poorly insulated rodent cages which pretend to be buildings, and then over a period of a few years mutate into buildings. Look what happened to the Temporary Boiler House on Dalby Court. It gradually became the blue cube, even though the original plans were to reinstate the grassy area. Exactly the same will happen on the Lawn. Once built, never removed.

'They won't be built on the lawn but will overlap onto it' - what on earth does that mean? The portaloos will be some sort of superposition of buildings, maybe on, maybe off the lawn depending on how you measure it? As far as the plans can tell me, a full one third of the grassy / shrubby / bushy W edge of the lawn will be built on. All of that provides visual and environmental amenity.

'They are still debating as to where the portacabins will be placed - College are applying for permission in various areas' - well now I think College can be assured that any more permissions sought will be closely scrutinised by the students! But at the moment, this is the only application put into the Council. I do wish the Sabbs might do some representation on our behalf, after all we pay fees to have Unions to do that sort of thing. Why weren't there any orange notices advertising the planning proposals? How did Estates coincidentally manage to get the entire consultation period to occur during the holidays when fewer people were here? The whole thing stinks.

43. Bob   
Apr 24 2006 17:59
 

Dont forget "The Hut". That is a Portakabin that has been there for years - only temporary they said... - now it is the centre of a court case for terroism.

44. Dan L   
Apr 24 2006 18:06
 

I thought that RSM had been finished accorsing to the Esates website. Bessemer is finished too says the website - unless we aren't in April 2006.

I suggest Sameena checks her facts - and college learn to lie a little better.

45. Lemon   
Apr 24 2006 18:08
 

Thanks to Bob (the builder) for posting the news article and to Sameena for additional clarification.

Here comes the comment...

I appreciate that we will have Princes Gardens (albeit with far more pavement than before) as an alternative green space, but I'm sure most of us will be at Imperial College for a minimum 2 years, and the question remains - do we really want a temporary Portacabin on our 'prize' lawn (apologies for the exaggeration) that is 3 storeys high and cannot be said (from any angle) to be pretty in any way for these 2 years?

I really do think that it will potentially be there for more than 2 years (as past records suggest a tendency for any renovation to take longer than expected), and even if it were for just the one year, how will it impact the summer ball in 2007 and even 2008?

Apr 24 2006 18:33
 

Seeing as this is likely to be an issue for some time time would our President Elect care to comment on what he intends to do about it?

47. PC   
Apr 24 2006 18:48
 

I objected - however today I saw on a lampost outside the union on Prince Consort Road a Public Notice telling of the application. Don't know how long it's been there

Apr 24 2006 19:25
 

I've got a horrible feeling I saw that before the end of term and just assumed it was just for the marquee.

Or I may just be deluding myself.

Apr 25 2006 11:23
 

I think that we should take some action... "SAVE THE QUEENS LAWN!" (you know once one bit goes, so does the rest...)

The Union should be against this sort of proposal, regardless of the facts coming from college, as the planning permission was produced long ago and officially submitted. College have told Westminster the facts - surely what else can they say?

Having the union against this would mean that they are doing something a lot of the students want (I will not go into discussions about whether or not they do this or not the rest of the time) - something positive for the Union to get involved in and they could use it to engage the students more.

Its simple - start with a petition near the queens lawn and get signitures from students. Sure its not much but its a start. Surely someone can come up with something a bit more powerful that.

Apr 25 2006 11:28
 

Oh, and yes you can still comment even today.

Apr 25 2006 13:36
 

If you want our union do to something about this then I strongly urge you to take a paper to the next council meeting (May 4th). If you any further info or advice on how council papers are written / presented / etc then please get in touch.

You've asked for my opinion: well, with the college, ICU and Live! journalists reporting contradictory facts it's difficult to see where this is going. However, if it is really true that the college intends to remove one third of the lawn space (with most of the trees) for two years then I am well up for fighting against this next year.

That is, if the student body feel strongly enough to make a fuss.

52. Ben   
Apr 25 2006 14:57
 

In an effort to avoid revision I've drafted (very roughly) a motion to take to to Union Council. If you're interested in helping to ammend it please e-mail me and I'll send you a copy.

53. C!   
Apr 25 2006 15:41
 

In response to president elect. Have a look at the planning proposal if you want the facts

Apr 26 2006 12:49
 

While we're here saving the Queen's Lawn, someone could mount a campaign to save the apostrophe in its name too. The PDF of the plans linked to by 'History' show that whoever wrote drew them up has decided against its use, but most people posting here seem to agree that this sliver of punctuation is part of the site's heritage.

Those with long memories may recall that the name of the college once contained a comma...

One by one these atrocities remove the foundations of humanity's great pyramid. We must rise up to prevent correct punctuation from disappearing in the sinking sand.

55. Dan L   
Apr 26 2006 13:42
 

A council paper has been written.

Apr 26 2006 16:18
 

If anyone wishes to add their name to the list of seconders please send me an e-mail with your:

name;

dept/yr;

any relevant Union positions you hold.

So far there are close to 100 names behind the motion, but I'm hoping we can can still achieve a lot more.

57. Lemon   
Apr 27 2006 22:23
 

I've seconded. It's good that the issue has made it to the front page of the Felix too! :)

58. Bob   
Apr 28 2006 09:21
 

Yeh it made Felix - but was there anything about "Live!" breaking the news.

Bob feels a bit p***ed off Felix didn't even make a mention of his superb detective skills that bought this news to everyone...

(He disappears off, to look for more breaking news on Westminster's website and Spectrum....)

Apr 28 2006 12:10
 

Looks like a face-off between the Union and College. We may have lost on tuition fees but it's time to launch the "Save the Queens Lawn" campaign. Bring it on.

60. Lemon   
Apr 29 2006 12:32
 

Hmmm... good point. Perhaps the next edition should say it and also any possible contacts/actions that interested students can call/do.

May 01 2006 14:45
 

Submissions after the April 24th deadline (i.e. now) are still likely to be considered from my understanding.

Please email me any submissions you put forward and I'll lobby the Labour councillors on the planning subcommittee, so they could hopefully put forward objections to it.

62. Sam   
May 01 2006 15:26
 

There are Labour Councillors in Westminster?

Geesh, we really must do something about that on Thursday... we can't have them in charge of our fine City.

May 01 2006 15:36
 

I guess you'd rather have Conservatives who illegally sell off public assets, costing the taxpayer in excess of ?27 million, and then hide their wealth to avoid paying fines?

Of course you would.

May 01 2006 15:55
 

No I would far rather have someone who has affairs in his public residence, and then delivers leaflets showing domestic harmony, someone who gives us a health service in crisis, and a home secreatry who releases serious criminals whom should have been deported. We could of course add a minister who has drugs found in his house.

Politics is never whiter than white...

May 01 2006 16:39
 

Labour supporters should also remember that any conservative mistakes whilst we were made nearly 10 years ago since when many of current MPs were not even in Parliament. Most of the Labour problems listed by Random Student were made in the last 10 days.

Also, the Conservative Party political broadcasts also tell us something about policies and are not a rubbish cartoon that makes no valid point at all apart from to prove that Tony Blair who personally comisioned it has totally lost the plot and can't deal with an opposition leader who has policies, is prepared to support labour policies he thinks are right, and to opose those that he doesn't believe in.

66. bored   
May 01 2006 17:15
 

Yes its getting tiresome hearing the same tired propaganda about the Tories almost 10 years after they left office. Look to Labours heartlands and sample the hysterical anti conservatism that comes from the Welsh and Scottish electorates ; their main gripe being something to do with the poll tax and unemployed miners which all went on 15-25 years ago! Observer is right, Labour have to resort to mudslinging as they have nothing else to offer.

67. Sam   
May 01 2006 20:19
 

Actually the Welsh and Northern England quite rightly have a lot of bitterness towards the Tories and Maggie Thatcher in particular because the way the pit closures were handled was wrong. (And I say that as a Tory voter who was born and brought up in the North East)

That spawned a whole generation of p***ed off families with no jobs and no skills that were useful above ground - no wonder they hated the Tories. Give it a couple of generations and that will be forgotten, but 20 years just isn't long enough.

What I fail to understand is why these people don't recognise that New Labour (and I make the distinction between New and Old here) would have probably done the same thing.

I'd prefer to see a Hung Parliament where bills from the leading coalition have to be passed by massive agreement - That way we might end up with an accountable House who listens to the people instead of their own spin - I don't think the Tories or the Liberals of the moment would do a better job on their own.

What we really need is to stop anyone who wants to be an MP from being an MP (on the principle that anyone who seeks power is ipso facto not the right kind of person to hold it) and instead co-opt people who should lead but don't want to.

68. Dan L   
May 01 2006 20:29
 

Sam,

Give it 20 years and we will be reopening the coal mines in the north and wales. Oil will be so expensive, coal will be feasible, and also give us a secure energy source..

If I were you I would buy up a few mines - it will pay dividends in the future.

May 01 2006 21:50
 

But what about global warming??? Surely Nuclear or renewables will be chosen over coal.

70. Sam   
May 02 2006 01:54
 

2 reasons...

1) Wind Farms are ugly.

2) Who ever heard of a Coal Power Plant blowing up and poisoning the countryside for a 100 mile radius for about 30 years.

71. Dan l   
May 02 2006 08:15
 

You can pump CO2 emissions underground. The North Sea oil people recoken they could put 50 years of CO2 production from Europe under the north sea. It also helps force oil out of the ground.

I believe someone is looking at putting in a ground source heat pump at IC - Mr Tibbits will no doubt explain the details to all...

72. Ant   
May 02 2006 08:51
 

Coal combustion techniques are also getting cleaner, as burn developments, co firing and combustion 'tuning' techniques are improved. I just wish i could get my project to work to help prove it..

73. Bob   
May 02 2006 12:42
 

Renewables are far more than just windfarms (and whether they are ugly or not is a mtter of opinion). The UK is uniquely placed to take advantage of several renewable technologies, especially wave and tidal power. These technologies should reach maturity within the next 5 years and offer a vast energy resource. A proposal to harness the tidal power of the Severn would provide 6% of the UKs current energy demand on it's own.

These technologies in conjunction with widespread (compulsory?) micro-generation would give the UK a wideranging electricity pool with built in redundancy. A very attractive proposition...

74. bored   
May 02 2006 12:48
 

Compulsory microgeneration? Sounds like eco-fascism to me.

75. Bob   
May 02 2006 13:07
 

Not really. The are already considerable building regs relating to energy efficiency and this would be another step. It may be seen as overly authoritarian but at some point we have to make a decision what we would rather: The choice of whether or not we have solar panels on our roof or East Anglia.

(obviously not just solar panels. you choose the technology appropriate to the situation)

May 02 2006 13:47
 

I don't know why we spend so much on wind which is highly variable in terms of power produced and requires huge amounts of turbines to meet the demand. The tide happens every day and whilst has some variations is always present and just waiting to be used.

On the global warming point, can we wait until East Anglia is flooded to stop it? I've never really like eastern England.

May 02 2006 16:18
 

Imperial could always sequester carbon dioxode in the faculty building.

78. Si   
May 02 2006 19:21
 

speaking as a Norfolk biy I would much rather have a nice slate roof somewhere on a hill than preserve East Anglia.

Let the inbreds drown I say.

79. Mr T.   
May 02 2006 23:20
 

But what's all this got to do with dancing?

80. Sam   
May 03 2006 22:19
 

Bob,

>These technologies should reach maturity within the next 5 years

Frankly, my nasal hair could reach maturity in 5 years. I bet there are millions of technologies in 2001 that were expected "to mature in 5 years" which haven't seen the light of day.

Fossil Fuels on the other hand have reached maturity and it's taken them barely millions of years to do it. Go Fossils!!!

81. tom t   
May 08 2006 14:20
 

So while the discussion on portacabins rages on...

Coal does actually do serious pollution to the countryside, over prolonged periods such as thirty years. I suggest you google 'coal power mercury emissions' or 'coal power radioactive emissions' for more information.

Wind farms are subjectively aesthetically unpleasant. The fact is that they work, and in the right proportion (ie up to 20%) can actually provide energy price security, as well as energy. This is because they are a working cost free mechanism of generation, whilst most other generators face volatility in cost because of fuel prices (Ukraine, gas etc).

Coal co-firing is fine, until you find out where the biomass fuel for co-firing comes from... Similarly Didcot burns premium clean coal from Australia because it has no scrubbers or flue gas conditioning to meet env regulations. Drax on the other hand burns the cheapest c**p brown coal it can get its hands on, but treats the exhaust. Net effect: both plants operate to within 1% of the env tolerances, and there's no significant reduction of emissions as a result.

There are plans to install some seriously large ground source heat pumps across the 1851 land to better absorb solar gain and waste heat from the museums and imperial, and re-use that heat in the winter. I'm not sure where the plans are at the mo, but the Dept Culture Media and Sport has recently supported the plans financially, IIRC.

Compulsory microgeneration may sound like eco-fascism, but would actually save the country unimaginable amounts of money as time goes on. How many Iraqs would we need to protect the supply of, err, sunlight? It would be of great benefit to the quality of life and the tax burden faced by UK citizens.

CO2 sequestration sounds good, but can you tell me how much it would cost? I have a feeling just switching off the lights more often would be cheaper, even if it is physicists' `human rights' to eat lunch under artificial light when the windows let plenty of sunlight in.

Plenty of studies show that demand reduction is cheaper than fossil fixes.

Finally it's likely that we're already locked into significant sea level rises, even if we stop emitting CO2 tomorrow. There's a big time lag between the emission and the effect being felt. Flippancy about East Anglia merely distracts but fails to amuse. I think many, even well educated, people underestimate the importance of tackling and mitigating atmospheric pollution now rather than finding we have to spend all our spare cash on adaptation in 20 years time.

82. Random   
May 10 2006 20:25
 

To be honest, I have no idea why we are discussing politics (parties wise) and the climate in a thread about the College proposing to build on the Queen's Lawn?

May 24 2006 08:16
 

If anyone is still interested, college withdrew the application last week. I would say more but the plasma calls...

May 24 2006 11:27
 

yes! obviously college didnt want a riot on their hands. well-played all involved.

Apr 09 2008 12:56
 

Doubt this is the correct place to rant....but......just as queens lawn and the weather were looking suitable for lunching on they go and put the marquee back up.

Annoyed is not a strong enough word.

Apr 09 2008 14:49
 

I agree. And what was the point in returfing? I was just thinking the other day how lovely the grass looked but such a shame it was snowing. Now we won't see the grass again until after the Summer Ball. (Yes I know that the marquee will be coming down again after PG Commem Day but what state do you expect the grass will be in by then?) Such a bloomin' waste of time.

Apr 09 2008 16:15
 

HYDE PARK

it's big, close and green. go to it and shutup

or if ur too lazy, Beit Quad - u can get a beer as well

Apr 09 2008 19:13
 

Yes, it's a real shame that students and staff don't get to enjoy the lawn. It's what Colcutt (who had the idea of having a lawn) wanted.

@HYDE PARK - I don't get your point. The park is nice, but you have to share it with others. The Queen's Lawn is the only bit of campus where you can easily go after lectures for a nice sit. #

Do you work for Estates? Or have a vested interest in the marquee profits? Or are you just a miserable sod who gets off of the unhappiness of others?

Either way, sod off and shut up. I don't see why anyone would want that monstrosity on the lawn, especially more than a month before it is needed.

I think the Union had been quiet on this for too long, it needs to make a stand - NOW.

Apr 09 2008 20:11
 

you have to share it with others? unlike the queens lawn which is every individuals personal play area?

haha a miserable sod who gets off the unhappiness of others? i'm really sorry that having to walk 100 metres to sit on grass is making you so unhappy, boo hoo.

make a stand? as if there isn't anything better for the union to do

Apr 09 2008 20:23
 

It just seems such a waste of money to returf the lawn in January, only to ruin the grass again now. It is a bit unfair for the lawn to be covered the only times it can really be used.

What is the state of Princes Gardens now? Can the square be used? If so, the situation is not so bad.

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