BREAKING: Developer takes first step on road to potential new supermarket development

The Ely Outdoor Sports Association site, in Downham Road. The Ely Outdoor Sports Association site, in Downham Road.

Friday, March 14, 2014
4:07 PM

A development company which earlier this year announced its intention to build a new supermarket on sports fields near Ely has finally shown its hand.

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Cambridge Property Group wants to build a new superstore, petrol station, warehouses, pub and restaurant at Downham Road, a site currently occupied by the Ely Outdoor Sports Association and home to a football, rugby and hockey clubs, among others.

The move comes just weeks after developers Turnstone announced separate plans to build a cinema and restaurant facility on the same site.

Earlier this year, the chairman of Ely City Football Club, Robert Button, said he had been approached by developers about moving off the site, which is part owned by the district council, and said he was receptive to the idea.

Cambridge Property Group has now entered a ‘screening option’ to East Cambridgeshire District Council to gauge whether its Downham Road plans will require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out.

The assessment would require the company to study the impact its potential development would have on the area and produce a report detailing how it plans to mitigate any negative impacts.

A spokesman told the council: “A substantial professional team has been appointed to investigate every relevant element of this proposal and its impact on the local and wider environment.

“The extensive amount of work done has suggested that the development will not have a material negative upon the immediate or wider environment.

“Our analysis demonstrates that there will be no negative material impacts as a result of the development. There are also many important positive impacts associated with proposed development including socio-economic impacts.”

If the company is successful in its bid to avoid producing an impact assessment, it is believed a full planning application will follow in the subsequent weeks, with planning permission potentially in place by the end of the summer.

A decision on the screning option expected within the next month.

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