LETTER: 'There is almost universal condemnation of this ill thought out project'
PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 January 2016
As local residents are slowly becoming aware, owing to very limited publicity, East Cambridgeshire District Council has applied to itself for planning permission to build 11 houses on the Barton Road frontage of the well established and useful community facility - the cathedral car park.
When talking to local residents and people from other parts of Ely and nearby villages there has been almost universal condemnation of this ill thought out project.
There are many reasons why the proposal is unacceptable but I want to draw particular attention to the harm to the character of Ely conservation area.
The row of three-storey houses will cut off the wide and open view over the car park towards St Mary’s Church, the cathedral and Ely Porta.
The parked cars and coaches are not a pretty sight when seen from Barton Road, but the eye is drawn to the spectacular profile of the cathedral, which, under this proposal, will be lost to view apart from a glimpse through the access way.
The car park is on the site of the old parade ground which has long been part of a large tract of open space including King’s Ely playing field.
There is also an important view southwards from the footpath opposite the Prince Albert pub towards the playing field and the magnificent lime trees along Barton Road.
The open scene will be lost and replaced by a view of the backs of these bulky and bland mock Georgian houses which are out of character with the rest of Barton Road.
The parade ground was established in the aftermath of the Littleport Riots, when it was decided that Ely needed it’s own militia. This coming year (2016) is the bicentenary of the riots - perhaps not the best time for ECDC to be destroying part of our heritage.
I understand that with such severe government constraints on local councils ECDC is desperate to raise money - but this is not the way to do it.
If any readers have concerns about this application please visit the ECDC website, www.eastcambs.gov.uk - search for application ref: 15/01417/F3M, look at the plans and supporting documents.
I understand the period for submitting representations to ECDC has now been extended until January 22.