East Cambridgeshire ‘big four’ call on Eric Pickles to act over controversial Ely Bypass
16:24 28 April 2014
A quartet of leading East Cambridgeshire figures representing both the public and political spheres have joined forces to call on Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to ‘call-in’ the £30 million Ely Southern Bypass plans.
In an open letter to the Secretary of State, SE Cambs MP Sir Jim Paice, The Dean of Ely, Rev Mark Bonney, the leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, James Palmer, and the managing director of Turners of Soham, Paul Day, have called for a speedy resolution to the argument.
The quartet are concerned at the stance of English Heritage in the planning process, with the non-governmental body insisting it is staunchly opposed to the A142 bypass, which, it says, would destroy views of Ely Cathedral.
In the letter, the groups says: “Undoubtedly, this bypass is the most significant transport infrastructure for Ely and East Cambridgeshire. Nevertheless, its impact goes well beyond the boundaries of our beautiful city linking the rail network from the East Coast and to the Midlands.
“The leaders of local and regional businesses have made a convincing economic case for the project and we are confident that our local community will benefit from this development.
“We are acutely aware that the application has generated significant local and national debate with most significantly English Heritage coming out against the elected representatives of the local community.
“This is why we believe it is the right time for you to use your good offices in your unique position to balance economic and environmental, as well as local and national considerations, to resolve this matter.
“Such an important and crucial decision needs to transcend party politics with all the facts being put on the table and judged objectively by yourself.”
A planning application for the bypass was due to go before Cambridgeshire County Council late last month but was delayed following a High Court ruling concerning a similar case in Northampton.