Fourth revision of Croylands plans fail to impress opponents

Croylands, Cambridge Road, Ely

Croylands, Cambridge Road, Ely - Credit: Archant

A FOURTH revision of plans to turn historic Croylands on Cambridge Road in Ely into 20 retirement flats has failed to impress protestors against the plan this week.

Developers McCarthy and Stone have produced amended plans that will reduce the height and footprint of the proposed new building, increase the distance between the building and the northern boundary, and alter apartment layouts.

But campaigner Eric Godber - who lives in nearby Houghton Gardens - says latest plans for the site in Ely Conservation Area are still disproportionate to the existing building and the applicants have failed to address concerns over trees and wildlife.

He claims that although new plans show a minor reduction in the width and height of the building, they show a two metre increase in its length which increases the amount of overlooking into neighoburing properties.

Last month East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee went against a planning expert’s recommendation to reject the Croylands plans, and instead voted to defer a decision to allow for more talks.

A planning expert called in by the council said plans for the site of the former county council care centre were “inappropriate” and disproportionate, and would affect the amenities of neighbours.

Mr Godber told the council this week: “The reason the application was deferred was to allow the applicant to take on board the reasons for refusal and amend the proposal so that it would conform to planning policy. This has not been done.

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“I am of the view that the applicant has had more than sufficient time, and has persistently disregarded the legitimate concerns put to it by planners and residents.”

He says the quality and content of a reptile study was very poor, and because the development takes up so much of the site, there is little space available for the planting of new trees.

“I suggest that officers refuse the application because it does nothing significant to reduce the size and impact that this application would have, and therefore does not address the reasons for refusal.”