Master plan has designs for city

PUBLISHED: 12:55 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

ELY could be transformed into a continental-style city with a lively market square. Angel Drove could become an avenue or boulevard leading to the golf course and parking at the Paradise Centre pushed back to allow a new store and more housing in the city

ELY could be transformed into a continental-style city with a lively market square.

Angel Drove could become an avenue or boulevard leading to the golf course and parking at the Paradise Centre pushed back to allow a new store and more housing in the city centre.

The ideas were revealed on Monday as organisations and business from across the region met to discuss Ely's Master Plan.

"In Angel Drove at the moment you go from Babylon to Paradise," said Dr Nicholas Falk, director of URBED, the group commissioned to design the Master Plan. "At one end there is the golf course and at the other the nightmare around the station.

"Ely could become like a continental city with a more pleasant ambience where people spend more time rather than coming as a 45-minute break before going on somewhere else.

"The current building on the Market Place is an eyesore and Red Square is dead for much of the time. We need to create a feeling of the market square as a place for events, where there is always something happening."

He added that he wanted to encourage more people to live in the centre of the city but avoid Ely becoming a clone town where big shops drive out the smaller ones.

"Traders say we must get bigger shops in Ely but reinforce the independent shops," he said."

Ely's train link to King's Cross, its predicted optimum growth of 25,000 people and the fact that it is a pleasant place to live justifies investment in Ely, he said.

Councillor Brian Ashton, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council said: "We have got to have a coherent plan for the future and we have got to be positive about the future.

"At the moment we are in the phase of building the dream and then we enter the next phase which is how do we deliver it? How do we achieve it?"

The Master Plan will be presented to the council's strategic development committee on March 4 and a public consultation will take place in May.

Dr Falk said of creating the plan: "It is not easy but I am a lot more confident of creating paradise in Ely than I was in Oldham.

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