Morally Wrong To Convert Maltings Cottages

PUBLISHED: 13:24 25 February 2011 | UPDATED: 14:32 25 February 2011

I think it would be morally wrong for the council to now try and block off part of it, with no public access at all.

TO turn the Maltings Cottages into holiday lets, as ECDC are threatening to do, would set a dangerous precedence.

In the future, could not a cash-strapped council be tempted to do similar things with The Maltings itself, if they are allowed to do what they propose, on this part of the complex?

As I understand it, The Maltings (of which the Maltings Cottages forms a significant part) was given to the people of Ely to enjoy and make use of as a public building. I think it would be morally wrong for the council to now try and block off part of it, with no public access at all.

The council has steadfastly refused to engage with the public on this one (so much for public consultation!) and seem hell-bent on their own agenda. The Ely Perspective voluntary groups (Riverside and Design and Marketing) had lots of ideas to combine commercial ventures (to bring money into the council) with more public use for both citizens and tourists alike, but councillors refused to even listen to them. The council also ignored a letter on the matter from the Ely Society and questions from the floor, at a recent Neighbourhood Panel Meeting.

Now that the planning application (ref 11/00118FUL) has been lodged at the council offices I very much hope members of the public will view them there, or on line, through the council website (www.eastcambs.gov.uk) and make their objections known before the deadline – March 17.

If enough objections are raised, then maybe the council will look afresh at this important listed building. Councillor Fred Brown said he wanted to do his bit for tourism, well this is his chance. If tourists are to stay longer in Ely they need more to do and where better than on Riverside?

TED CONEY

Waterside, Ely

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