Seven city homes get the green light despite lone protest by Ely councillor making his first objection to a planning application
PUBLISHED: 11:10 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:40 11 March 2019
An Ely councillor who will quit his role ahead of the May elections has lost his fight to stop seven homes from being approved on the site of a former orchard in the city.
Councillor Andy Pearson launched what he said was his first objection to a planning application since joining the council.
“This is the first time I have objected to any planning application, and it shows how passionate I feel about this,” he said.
Cllr Pearson’s criticism of the reserved matters application to build seven homes to the rear of 32 Lisle Lane failed to impress the planning committee of East Cambridgeshire District Council who approved it unanimously.
Four years after outline consent was given, the committee agreed to allow the homes to be built on the 0.8 acre site – the original outline application had hoped for eight homes but this was reduced to seven during discussions.
The committee accepted that the principle of development had already been secured and amended to overcome design, layout and impact concerns. Officers also warned the committee that the district continued to have an inadequate five year supply of land for housing and seven houses would make “a positive contribution”.
Cllr Pearson was almost the only objector but said he was reflecting the views of residents.
He said there were too many exits or roadways joining in a short distance with Aldi, Old Brewery Close, Willow Walk, plus the exit from Sainsbury/Country Park Cresswells Lane nearby.
He claimed the “traffic in this area is busy all day however, on rush hour times, most of Saturday mornings it can come to a standstill, the additional frustration and activity at a new entrance is something that will not assist in this issue,” he said.
“I have seen this area developed from orchards to what it is now, a busy main road, with supermarkets, post office, new housing estates, sheltered housing, and warehouse, and now a newly developed private sheltered housing,” he said in a letter to the committee.
“This road is used by every taxi company to travel from the estates in the North of Ely on my ward to the railway station. It is likewise used by the same people driving, cycling or walking to the station.
“It is a route to the two largest car parks covering the city centre, and it is also the access road for people travelling from Prickwillow, Littleport and Queen Adelaide to the car parks and supermarket.”
Cllr Pearson said: “I have used my experience as a serving police officer for almost 30 years to assess what I see as the risk.
“There was a perfectly good large bungalow where the planning is proposed, which has since been demolished, with the intention to build these houses.
“This is not six more houses; this is six more families, potentially with two cars per house.”
The City of Ely Council said they had “no concerns” regarding this application.
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