Lidl For Ely Is An Issue Of Choice

PUBLISHED: 12:27 27 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 May 2010

People new to Ely might wonder what all the fuss is about with Lidl not being allowed to build in Angel Drove because there is already a supermarket over the road. For those of us that have been here for years, this is becoming an issue of choice, or lack

People new to Ely might wonder what all the fuss is about with Lidl not being allowed to build in Angel Drove because there is already a supermarket over the road. For those of us that have been here for years, this is becoming an issue of choice, or lack of.

This is all to do with the planners not wanting out-of-town developments to take business out of the centre of Ely.

Not too many years ago, Ely was a thriving city with several shops selling a diverse range services. Over time until the present day, one by one these businesses have closed down. They have not relocated within Ely, just closed.

Tesco, however, that once operated in the centre, was able to relocate, first to Broad Street, then to the present site out of town. Since then, they have been allowed to expand the size of their building and to supply extra services that are already in the city centre, presumably given permission to do so by the same planners that refuse Lidl. I understand Tesco have submitted plans to erect a mezzanine to further expand the site. No doubt to take more business out of the city centre. An estate agents and a cathedral could be next.

Just where do these planners live? How did they get the job of a planner? And more importantly, how can they be replaced with people that care about Ely and are prepared to listen to the views of its residents?

In this paper each week there are letters supporting Lidl's application. Thousands of local residents have signed their names in petitions supporting them, but still a handful of planners can stop it in its tracks. This is very undemocratic.

We need a new vision for the future. I don't mean the flawed Masterplan (Disaster) Plan of January 2008. There is a need for a realistic approach to decide what is best for the future of Ely.

This letter is for the people of Ely. Folk from nearby large towns such as March, Wisbech and King's Lynn already have a choice, so they won't come into Ely to shop.

Imagine Ely without Tesco, what choice would you have? There is very little left. Thankfully at least we have Waitrose.

JOHN SEYMOUR

Althorpe Court

Ely

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