Loss of Ely sports pitches will require supermarket developer to produce impact assessment

PUBLISHED: 12:25 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:25 16 May 2014

Downham Road, Ely, Cinema Site

Downham Road, Ely, Cinema Site

Archant

Developers have been told they must assess the environmental impact of a supermarket planned on sports fields near Ely.

Cambridge Property Group wants to build a superstore, petrol station, warehouses, pub and restaurant on the Ely Outdoor Sports Association site in Downham Road.

It submitted a ‘screening option’ to East Cambridgeshire District Council last month to gauge whether a planning application would require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out.

An assessment requires the company to study the potential impact of the scheme and produce a lengthy report detailing how it plans to mitigate any negative impacts.

A spokesman for the company told the council: “The extensive amount of work done has suggested that the development will not have a material negative upon the immediate or wider environment.”

But the council was not convinced by the developer’s argument and has ordered an assessment to be carried out.

Giles Hughes, the council’s head of planning, said: “The proposal will result in the loss of 10 hectares of sports infrastructure from land which is the main location for sports provision in the city and surrounding area.

“Whilst a plan has been submitted indicating an alternative site, this has not been assessed in terms of suitability, deliverability, impact on the character of the area, drainage or accessibility.

“It is considered that the proposed development would have a significant impact on the environment of residents of Ely and the surrounding district.”

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