Football club backs Fen developers supermarket plans

10:00 05 May 2014

Robert Button,  Bob Button, Ely City FC, joinery,

Robert Button, Bob Button, Ely City FC, joinery,

Archant

The chairman of Ely City Football Club has again called on councillors to “seriously consider” proposals for a new supermarket and retail development in Downham Road.

Robert Button says Cambridge Property Group’s plan to build a vast new Tesco superstore and retail units on sports pitches on the northern fringe of the city are “critical” for the future of the club and residents.

Earlier this year, Mr Button revealed that the football club was living week-to-week and there had been delays in paying players because of increasing financial pressures and falling revenues.

If Cambridge Property Group’s plans are approved, the club, and other sports teams on the 39-acre site, have been promised a move to new, purpose-built facilities within the city.

Mr Button said: “The football club are fully supportive of the proposals and would welcome the move to a nearby, modern, state-of-the-art facility to replace the current tired facilities.

“These proposals would also give us much more financial stability than we currently have. Our councillors should seriously, positively consider this proposal as any decision they make is critical to the benefit of the people of Ely.”

Last week, Cambridge Property Group insisted its plans would be ‘more beneficial’ for Ely than rival plans already approved for a supermarket in Angel Drove.

The group says its plans are designed to compete with Healy Investments which, back in November, was granted permission, subject to conditions, to build a new Tesco superstore and retail development in Angel Drove.

A spokesperson for Cambridge Property Group said: “Our proposals deliver such a wide range of benefits for numerous communities across Ely and for its economy that we see every reason for the council to support it”.

“With the superstore designed only to accommodate Tesco’s relocation from the station into larger premises, it will be able to provide that retailers’ full offer, but locally.

“As this is an alternative to the Octagon Park proposals at Angel Drove, the council has already accepted there will be no significant adverse effects on the Ely’s centre.”

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