Plans for a major new cinema and leisure development move a step closer

A view of the proposed cinema site

A view of the proposed cinema site - Credit: Archant

Developers have finally submitted plans for a new six-screen cinema and leisure village, to be located in Ely.

How the new cinema site could look

How the new cinema site could look - Credit: Archant

Turnstone has applied to develop land owned by East Cambridgeshire District Council in Downham Road, adjacent to Ely Outdoor Sports Association.

As part of the plans, Turnstone wants to build a multiplex cinema and a series of restaurants and takeaways – linked to Ely by an underpass which will allow visitors to walk under the A10.

As well as a new entrance to the nine-acre site, there will also be 380 parking spaces and 104 cycle spaces.

An aerial view of the development, which sits next to Elu Outdoor Sports Association

An aerial view of the development, which sits next to Elu Outdoor Sports Association - Credit: Archant

If the plans are given the all-clear by the district council, work could begin next summer, with the complex open by 2016. The development could create hundreds of new jobs.


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Cllr James Palmer, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is great to see that the planning application for the cinema is now with us for consideration.

“We have been working very closely with the developers and land owners in the recent months to help reach the position we are in now.

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“Should the cinema get permission after it has gone through the full planning process – it will be yet another example of how the district council is working to deliver the services and infrastructure which our residents want and need.”

According to the plans, the leisure village will see bird and bat boxes and provision of log heaps for insects and hedgehogs.

There will also be a variety of native and ornamental trees, shrubs, ground covers, grassland and lawns, which will provide a range of habitats for wildlife.

Designers have also promised cycle parking and a cycle route which will link in to the “wider cycle network”.

Permission has also been sought, as part of the same plans, for a new leisure centre on the site. The centre will feature an eight-lane swimming pool, gym, dance studio, courts and a community room.

The leisure centre will not be built as part of the cinema development, however, and is planned for a later date – when funding for the anticipated £12million cost can be found.

Tim Deacon, development director at Cambridge based Turnstone, said:

“At our public exhibition there was overwhelming support for our proposal. We have also listened to what local residents told us and made changes to the underpass and the proposed cycle access route.

“The cinema and restaurants will enable Ely residents to have a meal out and see the latest films in state of the art facilities without having to travel far to do so”.

Turnstone also announced that restaurant chain Frankie & Benny’s has agreed that, if planning permission is granted, it will be coming to the development. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is this good news for Ely? E-mail Daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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