Eyesore near Ely Cathedral to get long-awaited makeover

Steeple Row in Ely

Steeple Row in Ely - Credit: Archant

LONG-awaited plans to improve an “unsightly” area surrounding Ely Cathedral have finally been approved by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Steeple Row runs adjacent to the northern edge of the cathedral and is backed on to by a number of High Street shops.

The area is poorly lit and is home to a number of industrial bins which have made it a source of continued concern for the City of Ely Council and its partners at city improvement bodies the Ely Society and Ely Perspective.

Plans to improve the Steeple Row, Cross Green and Palace Green areas were first discussed in 2008 and have continually evolved over the years, with a definitive application finally submitted last year.

As part of the work, the group hopes to introduce new up-lighting, York stone pathways, artworks and landscaping as well as areas for new seating. The groups also plan to designate a screened area where the industrial bins can be stored out of sight.

In her report, district council planning officer Lorraine Brown, said: “The proposed enhancement works will provide a more attractive setting to Cross Green and the introduction of seating will hopefully encourage people to use this area and improve its vitality.

“By creating a communal bin store, it is hoped that the communal units will play their part in enhancing this part of the street scene and creating a pleasant area of public open space.”

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English Heritage, which has been involved with the plans given their proximity to the cathedral, added: “The proposals have the potential to deliver real enhancement of this part of the Ely Conservation Area and there will be real benefits if the issue of the bins on Steeple Row can be properly resolved. English Heritage is therefore supportive of the proposals.”