Plan needs research

THE council has recently submitted a development strategy for Ely, and it does not provide for large stores on the edge of town. They would have little credibility with the public if it now gave permission to the proposed Lidl supermarket, which is incon

THE council has recently submitted a development strategy for Ely, and it does not provide for large stores on the edge of town.

They would have little credibility with the public if it now gave permission to the proposed Lidl supermarket, which is inconsistent with the strategy, when the strategy is still out for public consultation. It is true that Tesco is already in the same general location where Lidl wishes to build, but Tesco was there before the current strategy was developed. Many have commented that Tesco has sucked business from the commercial district.

And the fact that there are hardly any shops on Broad Street must surely be partly due to Tesco's presence. If Lidl located in the same area, the detrimental affect would be even worse. This newspaper has recently sponsored an online poll, asking readers whether or not they want Lidl in Ely. Unfortunately, it asks only one question, not the numerous questions that a complete development strategy should consider: Do we wish to have a healthy critical mass of shops and restaurants in downtown Ely? Do we wish to easily walk or cycle to shops? Do we wish to reduce the traffic in town?

A strategy for Ely must address many issues. If Lidl wishes to come to Ely, it should do the same.


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M WARD

Ship Lane

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Ely

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