Campaign To Save Homes In Ely Has Failed

PUBLISHED: 09:26 09 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

ELY housing association tenants are despondent after learning their long-running campaign to save their homes from the bulldozer failed. Following a successful planning appeal by Sanctuary Hereward housing association, residents living in Walsingham Way a

ELY housing association tenants are despondent after learning their long-running campaign to save their homes from the bulldozer failed.

Following a successful planning appeal by Sanctuary Hereward housing association, residents living in Walsingham Way and West Fen Road in Ely will be moved into temporary accommodation while their homes are demolished to make way for 28 new houses and flats.

The decision, made by the planning inspectorate on February 16, brought to an end almost three years' of campaigning by residents.

Elizabeth Flood, whose house in West Fen Road will be surrounded by a building site when works begin, said: "The decision could have been a great deal better to be honest, I live in the middle of where all the work will be going on and I don't see that it is going to be very nice.

"A lot of people have been campaigning against this for quite some time now and I should think this decision is very disappointing for them."

Although Sanctuary Hereward intends to offer accommodation in the new flats to the deposed residents, many of those who are being moved are elderly, provoking concerns about their wellbeing.

Ely councillor Sue Austen, who campaigned with the residents, said: "A lot of the residents are elderly and frail and moving them from their homes is one of the reasons we were so concerned about these plans.

"We were really rather disappointed with the decision as many of the people involved have been fighting the decision for a number of years."

Original plans for the site, put to East Cambs District Council by Sanctuary Hereward back in 2007, were rejected by the planning committee on the grounds that the housing density was too great.

Unsatisfied by the refusal, Sanctuary Hereward then appealed the decision to the planning inspectorate who disagreed with the council's view and subsequently upheld the appeal.

Lisa Bek, regional director for Sanctuary Hereward, said: "We are pleased that the planning inspectors have supported our planning application for the redevelopment of some of our properties at Walsingham Way. "The current properties need bringing up to modern standards and our proposed scheme will provide high quality, energy efficient, affordable accommodation for both existing residents and for local people on the housing waiting list."

"We will work closely with our residents to ensure they are completely satisfied with proposed alternative accommodation before embarking on building work in their section.

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