Sir Jim vows to confront English Heritage over bypass delay
PUBLISHED: 09:15 07 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:15 07 April 2014
Sir Jim Paice has vowed to tackle English Heritage over its objection to the proposed £30million Ely Bypass.
Sir Jim, MP for South East Cambs, visited Ely’s troublesome underpass this week along with Conservative parliamentary candidate Lucy Frazer, David Campbell Bannerman MEP and councillors James Palmer, Charles Roberts and Tom Hunt.
The bypass plan was approved by East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee in March but was delayed by Cambridgeshire County Council following a Court of Appeal ruling involving a similar case in Northamptonshire.
The county council has yet to set a new date for when the plans will be considered.
English Heritage has raised objections from the outset of the project and has vowed to refer the plans to the Secretary of State if the county council approves the plans.
Sir Jim said, “I have arranged to meet English Heritage so that I can tell the chief executive that we, too, care about the setting of our much loved cathedral.
“That setting would be far worse with a monstrous tunnel under the railway and traffic still queued up from Angel Drove. Leaving all the traffic there prevents the redesign of what ought to be an admired southern gateway to our city.”
And Cllr James Palmer added: “Sadly, English Heritage have dug themselves into a hole that they are too obstinate to get out of.
“The new bridge will not blight but enhance views of our cathedral, whilst the hard working people of East Cambridgeshire will be able to go about their daily lives unhindered by the station bottleneck.”
Last week, news that the county council has delayed its decision was welcomed by the Cambridgeshire Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, which is calling for the bypass plan to be scrapped and a different solution to be found.