Country Park for Ely A Step Nearer

PUBLISHED: 17:56 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

A TOTAL of £400,000 has been allocated for the provision of a new Ely Country Park, it was announced this week. And there may be more money to come - an extra £350,000 could be provided from the Cambridgeshire Housing Growth Fund. News of the funding was

A TOTAL of £400,000 has been allocated for the provision of a new Ely Country Park, it was announced this week.

And there may be more money to come - an extra £350,000 could be provided from the Cambridgeshire Housing Growth Fund.

News of the funding was put before East Cambridgeshire District Council's country parking working party when they met on Tuesday.

The lion's share of the cash already allocated for the project is £250,000 in Section 106 money, funds that come from housing developers to provide play areas and open spaces.

Another £100,000 has been awarded from the Local Public Service Agreement, and another £50,000 has come awarded by a government funded initiative, the Cambridgeshire Pathfinders Project.

The proposed park - along the River Ouse, east of the city, is to include play facilities at Ely Pocket Park. Youngsters have already been involved in consultation, and have requested a BMX track.

The play area is expected to be zoned, with areas for children under the age of 11, an "action zone" for older children; a maze; and an area where adults can oversee youngsters.

A garden area, for use by families for games and picnics is also planned, and children could be invited to plant trees in that space.

Consultants have been given the job of preparing an Ely Country Park development study, including consultation.

Councillor Mike Rouse, chairman of the Country Park Working Party, said: "For too long we have not made the most of the open space which is around us. I often hear the complaint that in recent years growth in our district has been all about housing and not about play areas and parks, and I unfortunately have to agree. This is why it is so important to get the Ely Country Park right.

"Fortunately we are starting from a position of strength, in that we are entering this project with a completely open mind and blank canvass - we don't have a fixed idea of how much land will be covered by the park."

Members of the public were invited to a workshop at Ely Library on Thursday, and further consultation is due to take place in January.

A draft scheme is due to go before the district council's Community Services Committee on March 18 next year.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What facilities would you like to see in a country park?

Write to: The Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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