Paice is out of step on pits debate

PUBLISHED: 11:50 13 September 2007 | UPDATED: 12:52 04 May 2010

I DON T want to add to our local MP s obvious discomfort over his stance on Roswell Pits, but I really think he shouldn t be allowed to wriggle off the hook. The idea that the opinion piece he wrote for the Ely Standard on August 23 was the work of an ho

I DON'T want to add to our local MP's obvious discomfort over his stance on Roswell Pits, but I really think he shouldn't be allowed to wriggle off the hook.

The idea that the opinion piece he wrote for the Ely Standard on August 23 was the work of an "honest broker" defies belief.

On my reckoning - and I've tried to be as generous to him as possible - of the 13 paragraphs he penned, six attempt to minimise the impact of the developer's plans. The general tone is that those opposing the marina are creating a fuss about nothing. After all, as Mr Paice, points out, it is only ONE pit. This is a bit like saying you can knock down Ely Cathedral on the grounds that there's only one of them. Of the seven remaining paragraphs, five are neutral and two could be seen (at a pinch) as supporting wildlife and environmental campaigners.

If Mr Paice thinks this is being an honest broker heaven knows what he'll sound like if he gets behind the developer.

One other point, not related to Mr Paice's ill-timed intervention.

There seems to be an idea that the developer must be given the chance to run a profitable business now he has bought the pit.

This is wrong. Like many developers he took a risk when he purchased Roswell Pits - a risk he would not get planning permission. The price he paid reflected the risk he was taking. If he doesn't get permission then he has paid too much. The tax payers of Ely should feel no pressure to bail him out by putting aside their genuine concerns about what he might do to this beautiful spot.

That is the whole point of speculative purchases like this.

You lose some, you win some. In this case I sincerely hope he's lost.

JIM KELLY

Newnham Street

Ely

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