The long-running saga surrounding the Croylands building in Ely could start a fresh chapter on Monday when the property goes up for sale in London.

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The building, in Cambridge Road, is due to be auctioned off to the highest bidder by specialists Lambert Smith Hampton, which has put a guide price of £650,000 on the 19th century former rectory.

According to its listing, Croylands, which comes with almost an acre of land, “will need to be retained in any development plans”.

The listing adds that it “may be suitable for a variety of uses including residential, office, hotel and healthcare.”

Last month, retirement home specialist McCarthy & Stone abandoned its plans for Croylands after Cambridgeshire County Council announced it would be putting the property back on the market.

Campaigners struck a telling blow in December as, after two years of to-ing and fro-ing, East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee was left with no option but to refuse planning permission for the Cambridge Road site.

The application, councillors agreed, represented an over development of the site, did not cater sufficiently for affordable housing and did not satisfactorily address issues around the protection of the great crested newt.

It came to light during the planning process that the county council had entered into a contract with McCarthy & Stone, whereby it would agree to sell the building to the developer upon planning approval.

But with no approval gained, the county council confirmed had to put the building back on the open market.

The price agreed between the county council and McCarthy and Stone for the building looks set to remain a mystery, however, despite repeated Freedom of Information Act requests from campaigners.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What should Croylands become? Send your thoughts to editor@ely-standard.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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