Friday, February 8, 2013
THE planning application for the new Tesco-backed retail park to be located on the southern edge of Ely is due to be submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council next week.
The Octagon Park application, submitted by Mantle on behalf of Healy Investments Ltd, includes a new Tesco store to replace the one at Angel Drove and also included in the application is a restaurant, petrol station, seven retail units including a DIY store, and an office scheme.
It is hoped that, if permission is granted, the site vacated by Tesco at Angel Drove will be redeveloped into a new ‘station gateway’ with improved parking, homes and shops.
Developers say the application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with East Cambs District Council and with residents.
A public exhibition held in September last year at The Maltings was attended by almost 400 people, the majority of whom, the developers say, were supportive of the plans.
The Ely Traders Association were fearful of the plans however, saying that combined with the probable introduction of car park charges, the development could heavily impact on trade in the city centre.
Matthew Chandler, of Mantle, said: “We are really pleased to be submitting this application. It is the culmination of many years work and much consultation. Relocating Tesco would facilitate the council’s aspiration to redevelop the Station Gateway.
“We are confident that Octagon Park will deliver many benefits to Ely. The development will be a multi million pound investment into the economy and will create hundreds of jobs, boost tourism and help to ensure that local people do not travel out of the city to do their food shopping.
“It will also provide Ely a bulky goods retail offer retaining more expenditure within the city. At present so much expenditure is currently lost to Cambridge and Newmarket. The feedback we have received tells us that this was the right thing to do”.
The application is likely to go before the district council’s planning committee in the summer.