New plans entered to transform city’s old magistrates’ court

Thursday, June 12, 2014
8:25 AM

Fresh plans have been entered to transform Ely’s old magistrates’ court into council offices.

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The City of Ely Council this week applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to carry out a series of alterations to the inside of the building in a bid to make it suitable as its new home.

A large part of the work to be carried out will involve careful restoration, with damp and decay present in large parts of the building.

The city council said in its submission that it planned to dispense with a lot of the modernisation work carried out by the Government back in 1995.

A new kitchenette and toilet block will be installed, the youth court will be refurbished and a new entrance and disabled access will be added.

A first round of plans to transform the Lynn Road court house, which is Grade II listed, were withdrawn in December last year

The City of Ely Council, which took ownership of the building back in March 2013, said it wanted to make tweaks to its plans in light of feedback from the public about disabled access to the building.

The courthouse, which English Heritage say dates back to the 1820s, has stood empty since March 2011 when it was closed by the Ministry of Justice until it was purchased by the city council for a nominal £1 sum.

The authority ultimately plans to re-locate its offices to the courthouse from Market Street.

As part of its wider plan, the council hopes to include other community uses with the building, which could includes a museum and art gallery space, as well as music and concert facilities.

A decision on the plans is expected within the next eight weeks. To view the plans, or to have a say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk

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