Archived – Opposition to planning app

UPDATE ON PHASE 1

We have completed PHASE 1 of our opposition to AstraZeneca’s planning application for a global HQ and animal testing lab in Cambridge.

Our focus was to:

i) Get all the objections we possibly could in by the deadline

On the ground level we approached the Cambridge public with brief CAP objections for them to sign – on the street, staff in shops, etc

We also had 2 Facebook events (Stage 1 and Stage 2), encouraging people to send both CAP brief objections and NAVS brief objections to Cambridge City Council.

Animal Aid, who have been supporting and advising us, did some amazing promotion work at our request.  In partnership with Cambridge Friends of The Earth, we completed and handed in our more detailed submission. During this time we were in close communication with NAVS who informed us that they too had submitted their full objection.We are so grateful to all three organisations for their invaluable ,communications support and advice.

ii) Use local media attention

With 2 Facebook events (Stage 3 and Stage 3 – Extra Action) we asked our supporters to comment on articles by the Cambridge Evening News and the Varsity (Cambridge’s main student newspaper),  covering The CAP campaign‘s opposition to this application.

Our supporters did not let us down and the response was incredible! Although the articles are not recent now, at the time we did reach the dizzy heights of “most commented” and “most shared”, Indeed, (at the time of writing) with our most recent event, The Varsity article, we are STILL the “most shared”!

The purpose of PHASE 1 was to:

– Demonstrate the immense opposition to the lab and global HQ being built.

– Further the cause via education of the public (including students) about the cruel and ineffective vivisection industry.

– Keep the issue of animal testing high on the local Cambridge agenda.

We would like to thank every individual involved for their amazing support of PHASE 1.
We would also like to thank Cambridge Friends of the Earth, NAVS and Animal Aid.

UPDATE ON PHASE 2

We have now completed PHASE 2 of our opposition to AstraZeneca’s planning application for a global HQ and animal testing lab in Cambridge.

Our focus was:

i) A combined Photo Objection event to visually represent the vast opposition there is to AstraZeneca’s planning application for an animal lab and HQ in Cambridge.

CAP took to the streets asking people to join the Cambridge photocall event or to let us photograph them holding a sign stating that they objected to the AZ animal lab and HQ.

We also had a Facebook event (online Stage 4 ) asking people to join our online Photo Objection event, which involved posting a photo objection if you could not make it to the in person event.

The in person event was part of this 2 pronged photo objection event, involving the local Cambridge photocall event and the online event for those that were unable to attend.

Approx 50 protesters braved the heavy rain, over the course of the event. Committed activists (some in lab coats and one in a mouse costume) leafleted the public holding high “We object….” placards in a bid to raise awareness about the issue. There were inspirational speeches from Animal Aid’s Scientific Consultant, Rebecca Ram and Cambridge Friends of the Earth coordinator, Lulu Agate. The event was very successful, gaining both public attention and support.

The online event was again very succesful, resulting in over 100 photos and although it has ended, we are still posting photos provided to us. If anyone would like to send us a photo of themselves (or other people) holding a sign saying “I/We Object to the AZ animal lab and HQ” , please email it to us at thecapcampaign@gmail.com and thank you 🙂

ii) To use local media to get the message across
With a Facebook event (online Stage 5) we asked our supporters to comment on articles by the Cambridge Evening News, covering The CAP campaign‘s photocall event in Cambridge.

Once again our supporters were so amazing! Even when the event ended we were the most commented on, and the incredibly high ratings for the anti vivisection comments represented the strength of feeling there is against AstraZeneca!

The purpose of PHASE 2 was to:
– Visually demonstrate the immense opposition to the lab and global HQ being built.
– Further the cause via education of the public about the cruel and ineffective vivisection industry.
– Keep the issue of animal testing high on the local Cambridge agenda.

We would like to thank every individual involved for their amazing support of PHASE 2.
We would also like to thank Animal Aid, Animal Rights Cambridge, Birmingham Animal Action, Cambridge Friends of the Earth and NAVS.

UPDATE ON PHASE 3

In this final phase of opposition to the planning application, we  contacted AstraZeneca BEFORE the planning meeting took place, asking them some urgent questions via a petition.We politely and urgently asked them to drop the animal lab from their planned HQ; phase out all animal testing; tell us the fate of the beagles from their Alderley Park site or any other site; tell us if the rumours are true that they will, at some point, be moved to Cambridge.The event lasted a week and we asked that as many people as possible signed this letter to convey the high volume of public concern there is. In just one week we  4615 signatures in just ONE week !

We also had an event asking people to comment and/or rate the comments on the Cambridge News’ coverage of the letter to Astrazeneca event. At the end of the event the article was STILL the most commented and so well rated for anti viv comments and against the pro viv comments! The team work amongst our supporters was, as always amazing.

We then moved on to the final actions against the planning application – Letters to Councillors to ask them to refuse the application and then attendance at the Council’s planning meeting to decide on AZ’s application at Cambridge Guildhall. An amazing 10,000 caring supporters signed letters to Councillors!!  Sadly, the Council did approve the application – no surprises there! One of the Councillors actually described the proposed building as “beautiful”!! Our response and the demo that followed was loud and passionate!

Our event asking people to comment and/or rate the comments on the Cambridge News’ coverage of the letter of this final event against the planning application showed that our spirit was not quelled. At the end of the event the article was STILL the most commented and so well rated for anti viv comments and against the pro viv comments! The team work amongst our supporters remained amazing, despite the council’s decision.

We thank all the caring, passionate activists that have taken part in the opposition of this planning application. We do not see this as failure – we have spread the anti viv message and kept this issue high on the Cambridge agenda. The campaign against AZ will not end here.

We would like to thank all the caring, passionate  individuals involved for their amazing support of this oppostion to AZ’s planning application. We would give our grateful  thanks to Animal Aid, NAVS, Animal Rights Cambridge, Birmingham Animal Action and Cambridge Friends of the Earth

Despite our disappointment, here are some positive highlights our opposition to inspire us to keep  going:

– Daniel Rolke of Djurrättsalliansen and the other Swedish animal rights activists decided to back the campaign! They have a massive following and were involved in the campaign to rescue the 400 beagles from AstraZeneca’s breeding unit in Sweden when it closed in January 2014. We are so impressed by their immense energy, courage and passion and it is fantastic to have their support

– Due to the high level of public interest in the application Cambridge City Council were unable to determine the application within the designated 13 week period and  had to extend their decision date till February!

= 1224 representations and  5148 signed an online petition in objection. In total there were 6372 objections:

http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/g2607/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-Feb-2015%2010.00%20Planning.pdf?T=10

– Before the meeting took place 10,000 people signed CAP’S petition asking Councillors to refuse the application. We closed the petition after the meeting but the numbers went up from 10.000 even whilst the meeting was going on:

https://www.change.org/p/robert-dryden-cambridge-city-council-please-refuse-defer-az-s-application-for-an-animal-lab-hq

– Throughout the brief opposition to the planning application the campaign received incredible coverage from the local Cambridge media. (Please see “Press Coverage”)

Also, on the day of the  council’s final decision, a CAP representative was interviewed by BBC Cambridgeshire East.

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