David Ross Sports Village update

January 23rd, 2015

Following the extremely disappointing decision by Nottingham City Council not to approve our plans to build the new sports centre many staff, students and friends of the University will share a sense of frustration at this decision. However, we are now looking to the future and how we can ensure this important development goes ahead with all speed.

We are actively working with the City Planning Officers to develop an amended plan which will deliver our vision for the new sports village whilst preserving the three oak trees. We are aiming to submit this revised plan at the next planning committee meeting in February.

We are hugely disappointed that the changes we will have to make to the plans will unfortunately have adverse consequences for the University and will mean that we lose some of the environmental efficiencies which would have been delivered in the original plan.

This major investment is part of our ambition to create an outstanding, inspirational and accessible sports facility for all our students, staff and the wider community. It will enable us to attract more national and international events to the city, and this is why we are doing everything in our power to ensure this landmark development will go ahead.

It is not only important to the University, but it is also a vital investment to the city. With this in mind, we hope that the next Committee will be able to see the bigger picture.

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January 29th, 2015 at 10:56 am

Paul Nathanail

Could you expand on the reasons given by the Council and perhaps provide a link to the COuncil website where their response is available?

For February presumably there is a chance for the public to comment on the proposal and perhaps we could be given the link through which to submit our views on the proposals?

January 29th, 2015 at 11:50 am

Mike Jennings

Hi Paul. Nottingham City Council do not appear to have a public document available yet – when one surfaces, we will add a link to this page. You can still view the application online (link below), but unfortunately comments are no longer accepted as the plans have been rejected. When a new proposal is submitted, you will have the opportunity to comment. http://publicaccess.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NDS8SULYCB000

January 30th, 2015 at 1:51 pm


I am just wondering how the unversity will ensure a better plan now? Will some specialist in the field of nature preservation / landscaping be consulted before the plans are submitted again this time? I guess, the current problems could have been avoided with some better consultancy to begin with?

January 30th, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Mike Jennings

Hi Frank. The University’s initial proposition was made in line with recommendations and advice from the professional Council Officers, but nevertheless was rejected on this occasion. As the above statement reads, we will be working with the City Planning Officers to develop an amended plan.

February 1st, 2015 at 1:56 pm


Hi Mike, I am still wondering what sort of “advise” was given before from the “professionals” and if it was incorporated in the plans? Any chance that you could provide us with a link to the meeting minutes on the workspace about the previous dicsussions on this topic? I am sure for such a big project there should be some information recorded. It would be good if we can form our own opinion… I guess that we got some specialists in this field in one of the departments as well, e.g. the department of architecture comes to mind – are you planning to seek advise here as well for the revised plans?

February 3rd, 2015 at 10:40 am

Mike Jennings

Hi Frank, unfortunately we do not have access to the meeting minutes – I would suggest contacting Nottingham City Council for more information. The new plans are currently being discussed, and all news will be featured here on Campus News when available. Apologies that I cannot be more specific at this point. http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/article/22795/Contact-us

February 3rd, 2015 at 11:00 am


Are there meeting minutes / reports from internal discussions within the university? It must have been written down that the issue of the trees was discussed before the plans were drawn-up – I am interested how this was argued internally? Is there something on the workspace? At the moment it seems the university is just blaming the council. I would like to read up for myself if this is correct?

Are the planners in contact with specialist within the university for the new plans? I am convinced that there are researchers working on these topics – why not asking for their advise?

February 3rd, 2015 at 11:15 am

Mike Jennings

Hi Frank, if you would like more information I would suggest contacting Charlotte Anscombe, Media Relations and Campaign Manager, who may be able to help.

February 3rd, 2015 at 11:27 am


Is there a problem making statements from Charlotte visible for the public here?
I am sorry, all the articles I read were ‘very disappointed’ about the council and blaming that they “were genuinely unable to see the wood for the trees”. With all this blame – why not give here some details that the trees in question were considered when drawing up the plans internally?

February 3rd, 2015 at 11:41 am

Mike Jennings

Hi Frank – it’s Charlotte here.

We are obviously disappointed with the Council’s decision, however we are not blaming them – and we now are moving forward with our amended plans.

In terms of minutes from meetings etc, this is not something that is readily available on the University website.

If you want to obtain copies – then you can make a Freedom of Information request – details of how can be found here –


I hope this helps – thanks

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:01 pm


Hi Charlotte. Thank you for the link. I will try to get my hands on more details then. In the mean time, you may have more information already about how the plans were made to cut down the trees? After all, the marketing team or the university itself published the articles and should therefore have more information available. I am sure that we as university follow the good research practice of having verifiable sources.

I am not sure how you would call the university comments with respect to the council decisions if not blaming? “Hypocrisy” was mentioned and that the council “were genuinely unable to see the wood for the trees”. Because of these comments I would like to form my own opinion how the issue of the trees was discussed internally before applying for a building permission?

For the new plans, do you know if internal specialists (researchers) in this field will be consulted?

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Mike Jennings

Hi Frank. If you would like to discuss this further, I would suggest doing so over email so that we can ascertain exactly what you would like to know. We can if necessary publish the details you would like to hear, but would need to discuss first. Please provide your contact details or email charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:13 pm


I am still questioning whether this is dissapointing or not? Am I correct in thinking that while some grants were planned to be put towards this, a large proportion of the funding for this project would come from the University of Nottingham? I am a fee paying student at the University. I use the sports facilities at the moment and am satisfied with them. Perhaps it is worth debating whether this is a genuinely useful cause. I personally am not keen on the idea of the fees I pay to this university (for an opportunity to expand my knowledge) being spent on a vast building enterprise for sports facilities that will then cost an extra £120 a year to have access to. I am sure that many students that do not use the sports facilities would agree. Yes it is lovely to have access to such wonderful facilities, but I would like to think that many of the fee paying students would rather the income generated from them would go toward better educational resources, higher numbers of staff and further increased training for staff in order to ensure that the educational opportunities remain first class.

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Mike Jennings

Hi Liam, thank you for your comment. This is part of an ambitious investment programme which includes the proposed David Ross Sports Village, but also educational resources such as the extension of the George Green Library and other projects.

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:05 pm


I don’t believe that there is need for a long email discussion. My question, as mentioned earlier:
How was the decision made within the university that cutting down these trees would be the right (only) solution? Where can we find this information?
Email is provided when writing a comment.

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Mike Jennings

As previously stated, this information is not available to us – if you want further details then you can make a Freedom of Information Request.

March 11th, 2015 at 9:10 am


Hi Frank, If you do find out more through that freedom of information request to the Council, I would be pleased to read it here? I too am interested in how we got to the point of putting through plans that meant cutting these trees down. I hope any future developments the University puts forward take into account these type of concerns and as Frank mentioned consultation with relevant experts would be a great place to start.

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