Authorities must say no' to parking and move on

PUBLISHED: 11:38 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:47 04 May 2010

THE public should not be misled by the recent statements of councillors and the cathedral that the proposed extension to Broad Street car park would provide 59 new car parking spaces. This is an irrelevance, when we are to lose 74 spaces at the same time,

THE public should not be misled by the recent statements of councillors and the cathedral that the proposed extension to Broad Street car park would provide 59 new car parking spaces.

This is an irrelevance, when we are to lose 74 spaces at the same time, for a net loss of 15 spaces in the centre of Ely.

Furthermore, as the Ely Conservation Group's campaign against this petty-minded proposal has progressed, it has become clear from discussions with all manner and condition of people that many in the area now regret having signed the Ely Traders' Association petition, and that they would very happily pay for parking if it meant ensuring the preservation of the beauty of Ely - and in particular, to prevent any intrusions of car parking into the meadow. A considerable proportion of the people who we talk to and who have written to us wonder why the concerns of commuters are not being addressed, with a new car park at Angel Drove to enable this large and growing body of residents to get to work more efficiently without having to leave at 6.30am. The idea of extending parking into the meadow seems an impertinent failure of imagination.

Ely is a rapidly growing city, and is increasingly difficult to plan for, so it is to be expected that there will be anxieties and disagreements on all sides about the course of its development. But this proposal is impractical and divisive, the people of Ely, and indeed the nation, are fiercely opposed to it, and is doing the two most visible authorities in the city, the district council and the cathedral, increasing amounts of damage, the longer it is allowed to run. The Dean and Chapter can bring it to an end without further consultation if they just say 'no'. This will enable, or force, councillors to get on with the more productive work of managing the improvement of the quality of life for the people of the region. Draw a line under it. Move on.

DR NEIL HITCHIN

(Ely Conservation Group)

Bishops Wynn Close

I HAVE just been listening to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 where they were talking about Ely's parking problem.

Good old Cllr Brian Ashton making comments about the Cresswell Lane car park. He seems to think that this car park is unsuitable as it is surrounded by industrial land and is prone to flooding. A couple of sentences later he says that the land could be sold to developers to build houses. Flooding and houses -surely these do not go together.

Let's face it, apart from the cathedral, and maybe a walk through the park, there isn't much to do in Ely. Tesco has ripped the guts out of the town, and the rates for businesses as so high it deters major stores from coming here. Ely has become a place to go to sleep in, after a hard day in Cambridge or London.

I am proud to live and work in Ely. I cycle to work and walk into town, rarely using my car to go into town. When I do, I don't expect to park on cathedral grounds.

This area has been designated as a housing hotspot with no infrastructure to support it. We expect our council to provide it. They were elected to serve us, not to waste our rates.

JOHN SEYMOUR

Althorpe Court

Ely

WE are writing to protest in the strongest possible terms to the proposal to use Ely Cathedral meadow-lands for a car park.

The car has already resulted in the destruction of Ely city centre and to extend it to the meadows would be an act that all future residents of our town would never forgive us. It is also an act of desecration, creating close to the cathedral another tarmac desert with the attendant noise and air pollution.

Commercial and financial interests should not take precedence over the religious, cultural and environmental interests of the whole community.

We urge that if the need for a car park is so pressing that some other, more appropriate location be found.

SYDNEY and MAY BRENNER

Barton Square,

Ely

I KNOW Ely well, having grown up there, and returned regularly.

I have accepted the changes there over the last 20 years although, in my view, these have not always been for the better. However, when I heard of the car park extension proposal I was horrified that such a plan was even being considered. This is an insensitive and short-sighted idea - to destroy one of the ancient green pockets around the cathedral, to provide a few extra parking places. The cathedral's sense of dignity and tranquillity (and its commercial attraction, for those interested in that aspect) does depend to a large extent on its setting. If the Dean and Chapter and the planners are permitted to erode this setting then they impoverish us all.

SARAH WALLACE

Broadstairs

Kent

I WOULD like to add my voice to the idea of using the cathedral land as a car park. It's nuts. I can honestly say that the fields have had a good deal of influence in drawing me to Ely.

I sent all my friends and relatives pictures of the view, saying this is where I shall be living in two years' time! Now I am here, I make a special effort to go up and down Cherry Hill as often as possible.

Please defend the city's asset, and keep its character.

My grandiose solution to the car parking problem is to build an underground car park in the existing cathedral location and grass it over. My quick and simple solution is to use a lightweight semi-permanent metal construction to create a second tier of parking (for cars only) on the same said site.

CHRIS ASHLEY

I WOULD like to join in the Cathedral parking scheme debate - surely one answer to the problem is for the council to voluntarily give up their car park in Nutholt Lane.

They could just keep two or three, plus disabled parking for essential visitors and this would then release quite a few extra spaces during the week. Combine this with a park-and-ride bus and we would have extra parking without having to destroy any of the beautiful green areas around the cathedral and at very little extra cost.

LILLIAN PAINTER

Mulberry Way

Ely

I HAVE read in the Ely Standard comments about using the meadows near the Cathedral as a car park.

Some people are for it and others are not for it and others want it left as it is. I suppose this will run on indefinitely.

How about if the meadow was used for half-and-half and some was concreted for cars and some left as a meadow? This could be the solution and surely everyone will be happy.

R EDWARDS

Ely

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