10:37 Wednesday 27 November 2013

Controversial Croylands plans set to be refused

Written byJORDAN DAY

Croylands in Cambridge Road, Ely Croylands in Cambridge Road, Ely

Contentious plans to turn a former vicarage and day care centre in Ely into retirement flats are set to be rejected next week.

Dorset-based developer McCarthy & Stone’s proposals to turn Croylands, a Victorian building in Cambridge Road, into apartments for the elderly have been one of the most controversial planning applications East Cambridgeshire District Council has ever received.

The proposals involve demolishing part of the building to make way for a three-storey extension – something which angry residents insist cannot be allowed to happen in Ely’s conservation area.

Local people have also been campaigning for the proposals, which were submitted last autumn, to be refused because they say the finished scheme would overlook homes, add to traffic issues and that it is overdevelopment of the site.

In total, more than 150 letters of objection were sent to the council.

The authority’s planning committee is meeting next week to make a decision on the proposals and case officer, Keith Hutchinson, is recommending that they refuse them.

He said: “While the principle of development on the site is acceptable, the scheme, as submitted, would be inappropriate.

“It would erode the spacious open garden which provides the setting to this significant Victorian building in the Ely Conservation Area and the extension would be disproportionate to that existing building, constituting overdevelopment.

“It would detract from the overall character of the conservation area and it would affect the amenities of neighbouring residents.

“The application does not provide sufficient justification for the removal of trees nor does it provide details of appropriate replacements or the protection of retained trees and insufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that biodiversity and species protection has been properly taken into account.

“The application is therefore recommended for refusal.”

The meeting is being held at the district council’s offices in Nutholt Lane, Ely, at 2pm on Wednesday, December 4.

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