Lidl Store is Refused Planning Permission To Come To Ely

LIDL will not be coming to Ely any time soon – that s the message East Cambridgeshire District Council sent out last Wednesday. Plans for the store on the EMG Ford site opposite Tesco s at Angel Drove were refused for a second time by councillors, who in

LIDL will not be coming to Ely any time soon - that's the message East Cambridgeshire District Council sent out last Wednesday.

Plans for the store on the EMG Ford site opposite Tesco's at Angel Drove were refused for a second time by councillors, who insisted they were not anti-Lidl, they simply did not want them on that particular site.

Lidl has collected 648 signatures in favour of the store coming to Ely since plans for the application were announced in ????? last year.

A public meeting held in November saw hundreds of people come out in support, and a lively crowd turned out at East Cambridgeshire District Council's planning meeting last week to voice there support for the budget store.


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Planning committee member James Palmer told fellow councillors: "I have mixed views on this one. Ely needs competition for Tesco, that's quite obvious to anyone. Tesco have had it all their own way for far too long, but I don't think Angel Drove is the right place for Lidl."

Liberal Democrat leader Gareth Wilson agreed that Ely needed competition for Tesco. "We need to do something about it now, not have it in 10 year's time. Let's get on with it," he urged.

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All the Liberal Democrats followed their leader and voted for Lidl to go ahead, after Lidl's representative Nick Hardy told them the store could be up-and-running as early as June 2009.

Mr Hardy told councillors: "There is a need for development across the district [East Cambridgeshire]." He also told councillors that all the other sites that are technically still available - Pecks, Thurlow Nunn Standen and Ely Chemical Company, all on Lisle Lane - were unsuitable for Lidl, despite planning officials' insistence that those sites would be more favourable as they are less likely to take trade away from the town centre.

Planning officers also told the Ely Standard that the district has legal limits set on the amount of land it is able to allocate for food shops such as Lidl, and by granting the budget foodstore planning permission, the land would be used up in one go, thereby preventing other stores coming to Ely before 2025.

How did the councillors vote at last Wednesday's meeting?

Approval for Lidl

Gareth Wilson Liberal Democrat

John Abbott - Liberal Democrat (Fordham villages)

Sue Austen - Liberal Democrat (Ely West)

Derrick Beckett, Independent (Isleham)

Christine Bryant, Liberal Democrat (Bottisham)

Refusal for Lidl

Tony Goodge - Conservative (Isleham villages)

Peter Moakes - Conservative (Sutton)

James Palmer - Conservative (Soham North)

Jackie Petts - Conservative (Ely East)

Mike Rouse, Conservative (Ely North)

Carl Poole, Conservative (Cheveley)

Abstentions

Philip Read - Conservative, Sutton (chairman)

Anthea Davidson - Conservative (Dullingham)

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