Market Place plans shelved

A PROPOSAL to turn Ely’s Market Place into a car park has been shelved, it was announced this week.

Less than a month after it was first mooted, the district council’s ruling Conservative group opted against moving ahead with the plan in favour of finding additional spaces at sights across the city.

Cllr Bill Hunt told the Ely Standard: “Although I was broadly in favour of using the Market Place as a car park, it has been decided after lengthy discussions among the group that we would seek to find 30 extra on-street car parking spaces elsewhere.”

Cllr Hunt said that the 30 extra spaces could be found on the High Street and at the Fore Hill car park as well as at other sites across the city.

The extra spaces form part of the council’s plans to charge for parking in the city, though it is understood that any charging scheme would not be in place until the middle of next year, should such a scheme be approved.

The Ely Standard revealed last month how the Conservative group had announced plans to make the Marker Place available for up to 30 minutes for parking.

When the proposal was first aired, Ely Traders Association spokesman Andrew Olley, slammed the idea, saying: “The council should be managing the development of this growing community. It is not. It isn’t listening to its residents concerns.

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“The council should be explaining how they are going to protect local businesses and the jobs of all those who work in the city centre but instead it is putting forward a proposal which will yet further disadvantage its city centre businesses.”