We must be patient

PUBLISHED: 18:22 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

THE purchase of Roswell Lakes by an unknown person or corporation has rightly prompted public-spirited individuals to articulate fears about the future of this magnificent open space. However, the current sale has yet to be completed and plans have still

THE purchase of Roswell Lakes by an unknown person or corporation has rightly prompted public-spirited individuals to articulate fears about the future of this magnificent open space. However, the current sale has yet to be completed and plans have still to be submitted to ECDC.

Clearly we must be patient and wait for the planning application. When this is received we will know the true intention of the purchaser, then if necessary, appropriate action to safeguard Roswell Lakes' future can be initiated. But it is good that residents have been alerted to the potential problems that may lie ahead. It should be noted that the Local Development Framework proposals from ECDC envisaged the creation of an Ely Country Park, which would have included Roswell Lakes and ruled out housing development on adjacent land. The vision of a park may now need to be scaled down if the lakes become privately owned.

The sale of this beautiful natural resource appeared to be conducted in some haste and left local organisations interested in purchasing the site with no time to raise funds. While we may wish that this land could have been transferred to public ownership through negotiation, we must recognise that the trustees of the Thomas Parsons Trust are obliged to maximise the proceeds of the sale for the benefit of the charity.

However, the mechanics of the sale might have been slowed down to give other interested organisations the opportunity to take part in the bidding process.

A key role of the Ely Society is to monitor and assess all potential developments in the city and surrounding areas. It is fully aware of the benefits of a country park to both the people of Ely and its environment and has already submitted proposals for specific aspects of the project. The Roswell Lakes area is a vital

component of the overall vision and the society will strive with others to achieve the best possible outcome.

DAPHNE MORTIMER

Chairman of the Ely Society

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