Work Starts On Country Park for Ely But There's A Price To Pay

PUBLISHED: 13:22 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 04 May 2010

CONSULTANTS have been employed to start work on Ely Country Park - at a cost of more than £30,000. The Green Space Survey, to be carried out by Norfolk-based consultants Sheils Flynn, will map out Ely s existing green spaces and eventually aims to create

CONSULTANTS have been employed to start work on Ely Country Park - at a cost of more than £30,000.

The Green Space Survey, to be carried out by Norfolk-based consultants Sheils Flynn, will map out Ely's existing green spaces and eventually aims to create a countryside corridor from Ely's Roswell Pits, west through Queen Adelaide Pits and beyond.

Councillor Mike Rouse, who is leading the country park project, said: "The reason for employing a consultant is for them to do their own study of the ecology of the area and report back to us on the best place for things."

The first phase will look at land to the west of Ely, owned by the environment Agency and farmed by the Lee family, as well as other landowners such as the church commission, Thomas Parsons Society and Jalsea Marine - Cllr Rouse says the physical work should start by the end of the financial year.

Phase Two will involve discussions with Potter Group, who own Queen Adelaide Pits and have their own plans to turn them into landscaped ponds, and include expanding cycle links. Council officers have also applied for a £100,000 grant to help them get the project off the ground - which is expected to be given the green light in September.

Initial plans include creating children's play area at Pocket Park, for which funding has already been found, and a visitor centre, as well as separated dog walking areas.

If the country park and Wicken Vision are created, future generations could have a managed area of green space stretching from Cambridge out into the Wash, and along the river to the Great Fen Project.

Access to the countryside is one of the hot topics for the county - housebuilding in Cambridgeshire is expected to grow exponentially over the next twenty years, making today's suburbs into tomorrow's inner city. In East Cambridgeshire, the district council has been told that 8,600 new homes must be built between 2008 and 2025. The county as a whole is one of the fastest growing in Cambridgeshire and can expect to accommodate more than 90,000 people by 2021.

nProjects under Sheils Flynn's belt include Norwich's Riverside Plaza, the regeneration Downham Market town centre and Millennium Housing in King's Lynn.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What would you like to see in a new country park?

Write to: the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email the editor at; debbie.davies@archant.co.uk

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