Developers Trawling Ely For Prime Building Land

PUBLISHED: 10:44 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010

A CONSORTIUM of developers is trawling Ely trying to get its hands on prime building land. Representatives have targeted home owners in Lynn Road offering to buy their houses at above market prices. And they have also approached Ely Bowls Club to buy its

A CONSORTIUM of developers is trawling Ely trying to get its hands on prime building land.

Representatives have targeted home owners in Lynn Road offering to buy their houses at above market prices.

And they have also approached Ely Bowls Club to buy its land in Nutholt Lane and have set their sights on the city's police and ambulance stations, Paradise Sports Centre and swimming pool.

The 1930's terraced homes in Lynn Road, between the police station and Deacon's Lane and even the Bishop of Ely's house are also on their radar.

But some residents have said they will not sell at any price and East Cambridgeshire District Council is anxious to offer reassurances that no properties have been earmarked for compulsory purchase.

Property agent, Andrew Nickson of Wetheringsett, Suffolk has been instructed to approach land owners to negotiate future sales and confirmed he had been in discussion with Ely Bowls Club.

He said: "I have quite a few clients who are looking to put together a site in Ely. If it were to happen the details would come out in the planning process.

"We are in discussion with Ely Bowls Club but I can't say more than that at this stage."

Geoff Smith, of Lynn Road, said: "A gentlemen from the consortium wrote to me and rang one of my neighbours saying that he was looking to buy up the whole area. We both told him we were not interested.

"He says in his letter that he has spoken to a number of property owners in Lynn Road who are, in principle, agreeable to sell and that they would be paying well over the open market value.

"It's all pie in the sky. Nothing has been approved and I don't think he will find anyone who agrees with it."

Ely's Masterplan - the vision for the city's future over the next 20 years - outlines the area as ripe for development.

It includes the Paradise site, Lynn Road, Nutholt Lane, Prickwillow Road, and Newnham Street as a potential area for new shops, restaurants and bars or parks and gardens.

As the fastest growing city in Europe, Ely is seen as a prime target for developers eager to snap up lucrative building land for homes and businesses.

Giles Hughes, head of planning at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: "We have heard there are groups and individuals in the city looking to buy land.

"But we have a lot of work to do to identify particular sites for development and we are not at the stage of looking at compulsorily purchasing any areas.

"If anyone is concerned they can get in touch with our officers and we will be able to talk them through the development areas as outlined in the Masterplan and what stage we have reached.

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