Don't worry, it's likely that Croylands application will be rejected

PUBLISHED: 14:29 07 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:29 07 March 2013

WHY am I optimistic that the Croylands planning application will be rejected?

The sales contract agreed by Cambridgeshire County Council seems commercially naïve, poor value for ratepayers and fertile ground for journalists, but the buck has been passed to East Cambridgeshire District Council as the planning authority.

But is optimism justified when East Cambs is still considering whether to approve the partial demolition of an historic building and the construction of a three-storey block of 21 flats in a back garden in a conservation area?

Just consider the unprecedented volume of local objections and the recommendations for rejection by Ely City Council and conservation agencies.

Public leaders and planning experts have condemned in writing this overdevelopment as inappropriate, with unacceptable architecture and materials, and few, if any, sustainability features.

In recent planning decisions, East Cambs has set precedents difficult to ignore.

The A10 business park won planning permission as “…the buildings have been designed to an appropriate scale and with high sustainability features”.

A garage in Tower Road for a property fronting Cambridge Road, near Croylands, was required to incorporate design and materials suitable for the period style of the property.

As past chairman of governors at King’s Ely, I recall how professional, meticulous and rightly demanding the planners were, both for new build (arts complex) and renovation (Old Palace).

It is encouraging that East Cambs is discussing how to correct the vandalism by their predecessors of buildings in the city centre.

If I am mistaken and the plans are approved, residents should ask: “Who’s next to have the monstrous equivalent of an aircraft carrier built in their neighbour’s garden?”

RICHARD SLOGROVE

Houghton Gardens

Ely

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