Plans submitted for new city hotel

A FORMER office block in Ely looks set to be converted into a boutique hotel under plans submitted to the city council.

St Mary’s Lodge, on St Mary’s Street, is currently home to Sanctuary Hereward but the social housing provider has announced it intends to move in with East Cambridgeshire District Council at The Grange in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Hereward said vacating the site for a new hotel would “bring a much needed boost to the local economy”.

Developers have been quick to move in and detailed plans for a new 22-room hotel, complete with bar, restaurant, meeting and events rooms and leisure facilities, were submitted to council planners late last month.

The Grade II listed lodge, which dates back to the early 19th Century, is in an important part of the city’s heritage and sits opposite St Mary’s Church, Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell House

In a report to officers, architect firm Gary Johns said: “Twenty-two bedroom suites are proposed, 21 in the existing main building and one in the remote detached cottage. A restaurant that is open to both the residence and general public is positioned on the ground floor of number 44 St. Mary’s street.

“A new glazed extension is proposed behind number 44, housing a licensed bar, and further acts as a link through to a function room to the north of the site. The existing recent single storey extension is to be extended to form the function room.”

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Members of the Ely Society have already been consulted on the plans and said they were “pleased” at the possibility of a new hotel for Ely.

A decision is expected on the plans within the next six weeks.