Would it be better to develop the Paradise Swimming pool instead of building on a new site?

I am very concerned that the meeting to determine the council’s contribution to the leisure centre project is to be held in private. Ely and District is a relatively small area, with limited funds.

Should the council be seeking to obtain a substantial and lengthy mortgage to enable the leisure centre to be built then surely the local population is entitled to know what is being suggested?

In the light of the decision of our country to withdraw from the EU it is now very unlikely that funding will be available from that quarter and interest rates on loans are likely to rise.

Please explain how the council proposes to service a huge and lengthy mortgage with possible high interest rates and from where any shortfall in the payments will be obtained if the leisure centre does not produce a profit.

Surely it would have been preferable to redevelop the Paradise Swimming Pool in the centre of Ely rather than build away from the centre very near a busy road, necessitating an underpass for pedestrians.

Some cities and towns, including Birmingham and Sittingbourne, have filled in underpasses because of safety issues.

What parent is going to allow their child to use an underpass unaccompanied and when it is dark who would use this?

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Having lights does not mean that the tunnel will be safe.

It may also be liable to flooding and would be very expensive to construct.

As an alternative, a new pool could have formed part of the new development to the north of Ely when an underpass would not have been necessary.

Relating to the Barton Road application, I note that the precis states that the application is for the erection of 11 dwellings with minor alterations to the existing vehicular and pedestrian access.

I would question that the proposed alterations are minor.

I would also remind the council that it wanted to build on land adjoining the river which is now Jubilee Gardens and a valuable asset to the city.

It was only because the council was defeated in a local election that we have that beautiful amenity.

To hem in Barton Road car park and obstruct the view and build on it has numerous safety issues which have been well stated in the letters of objection.

If the proposed development application succeeds, eventually this whole area could become a housing estate, ruining Ely for ever and losing the amenity of local parking.

I would be very interested to know what experience the council has of being property developers.

I understand that it wishes to employ a developer and then sell the completed houses and flats.

Please clarify how much the council would expect to obtain in profit from any development of Barton Road and how much has already been paid out in consultancy fees.

I understand that the council needs the profit from development on Barton Road as a contribution towards the leisure centre.

It is also to shortly incur fees of £6,500 per annum for coach parking in Lancaster Way Business Park.

Once development has taken place there is no turning back.

An accessible coach and car park on a site with good public conveniences as near to the city centre as possible for the benefit of local people and tourists is not an asset to be disregarded.

LESLEY BISHOP

Via email

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