SOS aims to represent the views of those dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Cambridges city-centre green spaces, and who believe there should be no further development on them.
Save Our green Spaces (SOS) held its inaugural meeting in July 2004. It was formed as a direct result of the opposition to the proposal for a skateboard park on Jesus Green. Beth Wang was a very credible leading light having a skateboarding background in the USA and a great love for Jesus Green. Peter Constable was the first Chair.
There was fear that with the shortage of land for leisure development the City Council would "raid" the beautiful open spaces in Cambridge. The subsequent Heritage Lottery Fund bid for such things as a piazza, a two storey cafe, adventure play ground and wide boulevards on Jesus Green confirmed these fears.
Groups in the 1990's such as the Butt Green and Midsummer Common Preservation Society, and Save Our Commons and Meadows (SOCAM) fought against plans threatening green spaces. At that time the County Council planned to build a 1000 capacity underground car park on Butt Green, with access roads to Victoria Avenue and Maid's Causeway. It was strongly opposed by residents and the City Council. SOCAM was formed to oppose another County council plan for a new river crossing road bridge at Fen Ditton. Fortunately both schemes died a death.
SOS opposed plans for the a skatepark on Jesus Green and Donkeys Common. Until recently the Jesus Green skatepark had only temporary planning permission but permanent permission is finally about to be granted for a slightly enhanced facility.
Pressure on the green spaces continues today, for instance City Council had a lottery fund bid to over-improve facilities on Jesus Green. There are also threats of new transport corridors across commons as a result of government targets to increase the population of the area.
Our mission statement:
"Save Our green Spaces exists to preserve and enhance the historic Commons, Greens, Parks and Pieces, which do so much to nurture the character of our City centre, both for residents and three million visitors a year.
SOS provides an opportunity to exchange views, and through membership, to influence the City and County Council in developing a strategy that will enhance rather than erode the Greens and Commons in the City.
SOS looks to its members to become aware of potential threats and alterations to local green spaces, and at the same time attempts to disseminate information to the local community about changes the City, Council or other entities envision. SOS consults with the City government to enable a wider viewpoint to inform their decision-making.
Please share any information or ideas you have regarding the protection of our local green spaces."