Planners may stand in the way f prgress'

PUBLISHED: 13:37 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 03 May 2010

ELY planners have been warned they run the risk f sacrificing millins f punds wrth f investment and hundreds f new jbs fr the sake f their Master Plan. They culd drive away develpers and build a reputatin fr being the authrity that stands i

ELY planners have been warned they run the risk f sacrificing millins f punds wrth f investment and hundreds f new jbs fr the sake f their Master Plan.

They culd drive away develpers and build a reputatin fr being the authrity that stands in the way f prgress, a leading prperty cmpany claims.

"Master plans have their place," said Simn Hare, spkesman fr Lcatin 3 Prperties which is wrking t bring Fcus DIY int Ely. "But they are nt the 11th cmmandment and they are nt cast in tablets f stne.

"There is ften a real temptatin fr cuncils t say 'we must wrk n ur Master Plan and we will push the pause buttn n develpment until we srt it ut'.

"But develpers culd say 'get lst. Yu have refused us and yu are banging n abut this ruddy dcument that we will let the planning inspectrate srt it ut'."

Mr Hare's cmments came as Fcus DIY tries again t invest £7 millin in the city and create 40 new jbs with a plan fr a DIY stre and garden centre in Lisle Lane.

Its prject was rejected by planners last year after they claimed it culd prmte ut- f-twn shpping and culd harm the vibrancy and vitality f the city centre.

Planners decided they wanted t wait fr the Master Plan which sets ut a visin fr the develpment f Ely in future years.

But Mr Hare claims residents have expressed their anger abut the decisin t reject the plans and they are taking their case t the Gvernment n appeal at the same time as ging back t the district cuncil with a new applicatin.

Mr Hare said: "There is a risk that East Cambridgeshire District Cuncil gets a reputatin fr being a twn that desn't encurage businesses and jb creatin and peple will lk elsewhere.

"There is talk abut prblems in the sub-prime mrtgage and whether we culd be n the cusp f a recessin. Can lcal authrities run the risk f lsing the investment and interest f develpers and jb creatin until their Master Plan is all wrapped up in a nice pink bw and presented, nly t find the market has mved n? This is a real danger.

"The develpment wrld is a small ne and a reputatin very quickly wn is very hard t lse."

Cuncillr Peter Makes, chairman f East Cambridgeshire District Cuncil's strategic develpment cmmittee, challenged Lcatin 3 Prperties t put "flesh n their accusatins".

"We think the right way t plan fr grwth is with the Master Plan.

"There are a number f applicatins pending and this cuncil needs t allw them t be cnsidered as part f the Master Plan rather than ending up with a result which des nt d justice t the city.

"We are very pleased with the prcess f the Master Plan and it has been well received by peple wh have seen it s far."

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

D yu think the stre will damage the vibrancy and vitality f the city centre?

Write t: The editr, the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs CB7 4LS r email: editr@ely-standard.c.uk

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