Demolition Plans For Ely Estate Dealt A Blow
DEMOLITION plans were dealt a heavy blow on Wednesday as Ely residents won the third round of their fight to stay in their spacious former council houses. Sanctuary Hereward, who now manage the ex-council housing stock in East Cambridgeshire, have been l
DEMOLITION plans were dealt a heavy blow on Wednesday as Ely residents won the third round of their fight to stay in their spacious former council houses.
Sanctuary Hereward, who now manage the ex-council housing stock in East Cambridgeshire, have been locked into a battle with the residents of Walsingham Way for the last three years.
The company originally planned to demolish the whole of the street and build 170 flats in its place - but the council firmly refused.
Sanctuary Hereward, who has always claimed the homes do not meet government energy efficiency standards and cost too much to maintain, returned to the council undaunted, this time with a plan for just 29 homes, demolishing 11 of the existing residents' properties. Again, the council sided with residents, and Sanctuary Hereward lodged an appeal with Planning Inspectorate, returning just a month later with a revised plan, lowering the number of homes to 28.
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"As a father of two children aged 11 and nine, I'm aware of how much space children need to play in," said Soham councillor James Palmer. "The areas they would normally play in - their spacious gardens - will be built on. It's a great shame that in this country we are always taking away family homes and packing as many houses as we can into a small area. I think Sanctuary Hereward are being greedy here - I don't like it and I will not be supporting it."
Again, councillors, despite their officers' acknowlegements that the latest development plan was suitable for development, sided with residents, leaving Sanctuary Hereward with nowhere to go.
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Sanctuary Hereward has always maintained they want to refit the social housing stock for the 21st Century and by creating extra homes on the site, say they can make a dent in the 1,500-person long housing waiting list.
How did they vote? 8 refused to demolish, 4 voted in favour (Cllrs Peter Moakes, Derrick Beckett, Philip Reed and Lavinia Edwards.) Three abstained. Cllr Anthea Davison, who is on the advisory board of Sanctuary Hereward, left the meeting while discussion was taking place.