Developers behind luxury flats for city centre site withdraws planning application to East Cambs Council
PUBLISHED: 16:12 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:12 23 November 2017
The company behind a development of 12 luxury flats for the city centre has pulled the plug - for now - on their application to East Cambridgeshire District Council.
The application by Baker Street Properties Ltd of Cambridge Road, Ely, was lodged in April and was due to go before the planning committee this month.
But the council announced this week the application – that won support from City of Ely Council with the only reservation being where to store refuse – had been withdrawn.
Residents have battled throughout the summer arguing against the proposals which, although having been recently modified as the illustrations show, continued to attract opposition.
District council conservation officer Lorraine King said that although she noted amendments had been made these “simply seek to tweet a poor quality design”.
She said that “at best the scheme in its current form could be considered to be mediocre”.
Ms King said the development would cause substantial harm to the significance of Ely conservation area as well as the setting to numerous listed buildings including Ely Cathedral.
“The scale, design and detailing are not appropriate,” she said and would fail Government guidelines.
Historic England said that adding two storeys of flats above a 1960s city centre building remains in principle an opportunity to improve the market place.
However they believe that even with the amendments the level of harm to the area remains unchanged.
They describe the proposed building as “overly dominant” and still believe demolition of the entire site with a phased decanting of retail tenants is the best solution and its replacement with a two and half to three storey building.
Up until the last minute objections have been lodged with the district council including Alan and Jeanette Moser Bardouleau who described it as a “monstrous extension to the ugly building already spoiling the market place”.
And Dominic O’Sullivan who lives nearby feared it would block out a great deal of his light and overall the scheme “is ill-conceived”.
Original objections included those of East Cambs Trading Co Ltd which looks after the markets held in the city
The trading company says it is concerned mainly about the construction methodology and the fears that building work will have a “serious social and economic detriment on Ely markets”.
East Cambs Trading says they operate Ely markets that generate a turnover of more than £5 million a year with customers going on to spend a further £9 million in local shops.
The developers recently submitted a construction plan which set out working conditions including a lessening of activity on market days and no Sunday work. They expected it would take 12-14 months to complete work.