Planners query trench work at Lakes

PUBLISHED: 13:33 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:28 04 May 2010

ROSWELL Lakes owner Jeremy Tyrrell was called to an urgent meeting with planners on Tuesday after fears that he was carrying out work without permission. Council officers acted after complaints from residents who feared that wildlife was in danger from w

ROSWELL Lakes' owner Jeremy Tyrrell was called to an urgent meeting with planners on Tuesday after fears that he was carrying out work without permission.

Council officers acted after complaints from residents who feared that wildlife was in danger from work being carried out at the former clay pits.

They have called for more information about a trench dug on the site which could be used for underground electricity cables or water pipes and the pair will meet again next week.

But, from a planning point of view, all other work underway at the lakes has been given a clean bill of health.

Conservation group Natural England has also been keeping a close eye on the site of special and scientific interest at the lakes.

It claims, contrary to the complaints received however, that Mr Tyrrell, who also owns Ely's Cathedral Marina, has carried out work that is beneficial to the site.

Natural England's land management adviser, Nigel Russell, said: "Work has been carried out on stabilising the bank which was slipping and this will, ultimately, benefit the site."

He added that the lakes are home to otters, water voles and bitterns and he would be watching future planning applications to ensure they don't ­compromise the site.

An East Cambridgeshire District Council spokesman said further enquiries about the trench on the land would be made with the electricity supplier and Anglian Water.

"It may need planning permission," he said. "It needs to be investigated ­further.

"We will be having another meeting next week and if there is still an outstanding issue we will try to resolve it.

"Legal action is the last step we would look to take but it is always there if we need it."

Mr Tyrrell said: "We are working on about a dozen items which were all reviewed in February prior to commencement. Now there are some ­concerns about a trench and whether permission is needed or not. Activity on that has been suspended pending ­further talks.

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