Lakes in legal spotlight

PUBLISHED: 11:13 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

BUSINESSMAN Jeremy Tyrrell wants the council go-ahead for boats to use and temporarily moor at Roswell Lakes without planning permission. He has applied for a Certificate of Lawfulness which, if granted, would mean he had the legal right to push ahead wi

BUSINESSMAN Jeremy Tyrrell wants the council go-ahead for boats to use and temporarily moor at Roswell Lakes without planning permission.

He has applied for a Certificate of Lawfulness which, if granted, would mean he had the legal right to push ahead with his plans.

But campaigners fighting to protect the lakes fear this could be a deliberate attempt to "sidestep" the planning process.

They are taking legal advice in a bid to object to the move. But the law says the public has no right to comment on Mr Tyrrell's application.

The certificate, which would run in perpetuity, would also cover maintenance work and other temporary work without planning permission.

Once granted it could only be rescinded if there were a change in the law or the land was sold and there was a change of use.

Members of the public will not be able to comment on the application because the decision will be a legal one rather than one taken with reference to planning policy.

Members of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Ely fear this is a deliberate move to sidestep the planning process and have called on Mr Tyrrell to submit a planning application.

Spokesman Andrew Balmford said: "Where are the planning applications Mr Tyrrell promised at the public meeting that he would submit within a fortnight? Where is the Environmental Impact Assessment that the law says is required before building any but the tiniest marina? Where is the transparent process that the developer has so often promised the people of Ely?

"This seems like a deliberate attempt to sidestep the planning process."

The group is taking legal advice and intended to put information about how the public could respond on its website at www.elywildspace.org.uk

Mr Tyrell, whose company Jalsea Marine owns one of the lakes and Cathedral Marina, lodged his application for a Certificate of Lawfulness with East Cambridgeshire District Council on Monday.

Now officers are taking legal advice before making a decision on whether to grant the certificate.

They have stressed, however, that if there is any work in the application which requires planning permission it would be refused and a planning application would need to be submitted.

David Archer, East Cambridgeshire District Council development services director, said: "This application does not cover his longer-term plans for the future development of The Pits and permanent works will have to be the subject of a planning application. The developer's proposals can take place without planning permission."

Mr Tyrrell said: "We are certainly not trying to avoid the planning process. After a lot of discussion with the council it was decided that we should apply for the Certificate of Lawfulness to clear up all those matters that people had been complaining about."

He added that a planning application would follow soon.

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