More Delays For Plan To Decide Ely's Future

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 04 May 2010

ELY S Masterplan will not be ready until 2010 – two years late- it was announced at a meeting on Thursday. The framework for the development of the city was published last year, then revised after irregularities over meetings held in secret and an exch

ELY'S Masterplan will not be ready until 2010 - two years late- it was announced at a meeting on Thursday.

The framework for the development of the city was published last year, then "revised" after irregularities over meetings held in secret and an exchange of emails between consultant Nicholas Falk and council leader Brian Ashton, who resigned over the incident, but has now been exonerated by the local government Standards Board (see Page 5).

Drafting of the £55,000 document was taken in-house to be completed by the council officers.

A transport study, designed to "feed in" to the Masterplan has been delayed - which will set back publication of the Masterplan to January next year.

"We are looking at alternatives to the southern bypass and indeed alternative routes for the southern bypass," said East Cambs District Council's executive director of development services David Archer.

"My own view is that even though I am a strong advocate of a southern bypass it gives me great concern that English Heritage are not on board. I am hopeful that we will achieve their support, but I am not willing to push on until I have a solution."

English Heritage is concerned that a bypass from the A10 to the A142 at Stuntney could jeopardise views of the cathedral - but the project is unlikely to go ahead without £30 million-worth of public funding - funding which was denied in favour of Chesterton railway station in Cambridge and 10 other schemes for East Anglia.

The Masterplan, originally devised by a small team of councillors and government quango Cambridgeshire Horizons, was always scheduled to be published in 2008, but when the Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Allen made a Freedom of Information request and discovered the exchange of emails, the meetings were abruptly halted last May.

The final Masterplan document will be available for members of the public to comment on in the autumn.

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Write to: The Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard. co.uk


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