The level of local opposition to the new plans to redevelop the Jericho boatyard should surely come as a surprise to no one.

By our reckoning, the plans from the Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund, is the fifth attempt to develop this important and historic site.

The developer has very good reason to suppose that everyone in the city is anxious to bring to an end the years of neglect and uncertainty.

But it won’t secure backing at any price from local groups, who after all know a very great deal about this site, having come very close to securing it from the administrators themselves with a bold and impressive bid.

Given the fact that the local groups, and probably the church too, will have to bear a substantial share of the cost of a new community centre and boatyard, local backing is even more crucial than usual.

There is something impressively selfless about the main area of local concern about the new planning application: it provides too many luxury homes and not enough affordable ones.

St Barnabas Church Parochial Church Council sees it is a matter of social justice. Others may feel it is a matter of simple fairness too. For the community’s carefully costed bid factored in that any development would have to meet the much-stated city council guidelines, which demands 50 per cent affordable housing from any site of more than 10 dwellings.

Having secured the site with a more attractive bid, many feel it is no use the SIAHAF now protesting that it is simply not financially viable to meet the city council’s 50 per cent affordable housing demand.

The other sticking point is the decision to put the community hall on the boatyard, which will free up space but add to the cost for the community, while at the same time spoil views from the towpath of St Barnabas in the process. The developer has hinted the way forward will be to hand over money to build some affordable homes elsewhere.

It remains to be seen whether the city council sticks to its policy or gets involved in some trade-off. But neither developer nor councillors should forget that this is ultimately all about the character of a unique part of the city.

Thankfully, the Jericho Wharf Trust, Jericho Living Heritage Trust and the rest can be relied on not to let that happen.