MP lashes out at Croylands development which he claims is more suited to an industrial estate

PUBLISHED: 17:43 18 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:43 18 May 2013

Croylands, Cambridge Road, Ely

Croylands, Cambridge Road, Ely

Archant

MP SIR Jim Paice branded McCarthy & Stone's proposed conversion of a Victorian vicarage into 20 flats as "more appropriate for an industrial estate than in one of Ely's best residential areas".

His unprecedented intervention follows a site inspection of Croylands, the county council owned former day centre and one time vicarage which developers want to acquire.

Sir Jim says the plans- revised four times and still yet to be voted on by councillors- represent a “massive overdevelopment”.

Welcoming in principle McCarthy & Stone’s proposed use of the Cambridge Road site, he said as it stands there would be “little left for residents to enjoy as a garden”.

He added: “The height of the proposed building would completely dominate the area and severely damage the amenity of a number of nearby properties.”

Sir Jim said he understood commercial pressures to both sell and develop Croylands but “the key point must be whether the development itself is appropriate to the site.

“I do not believe it is.”

He said if McCarthy & Stone pulled out because it was not longer viable “it should not be impossible for the county council to find an alternative purchaser who would develop it more sympathetically”.

County councillor Bill Hunt, who lives nearby and has waged a residents’ campaign to halt the development, described the application “as a cynical attempt at a smash and grab raid.

“If successful it will extract the maximum amount of profit for the applicants and their shareholders and inflict extensive damage on many fronts to the city and people of Ely”.

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