Ely to lose coach parking facilities

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The Cambridgeshire cathedral city of Ely is set to become a less attractive destination for coaches – if a plan by East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) to build houses and flats on the current coach parking bays goes ahead.

A planning application for an 11-home development of six terraced houses and five flats have been submitted to itself by ECDC that will use part of the Barton Road long stay car park as a site for the homes which currently comprises five free coach and car parking spaces.

In ECDC’s press release about the application, Cllr Bill Hunt, Chairman of the Council’s Asset Development Committee, stated: “The plan includes moving the coach drop off points nearer to the city centre to support the shopping areas and the Market Place. The project will deliver much needed housing, work for local companies and money for Council projects.”

CBW asked ECC about what, if any alternative parking facilities are to be put in place for visiting coaches and drivers – and also highlighted the recent controversial closure of the coach park in Bourton-on-the-Water and its impact on the destination. However, ECDC did not respond in time to meet CBW’s deadline on Monday.

CBW understands Market Street is a busy one-way street where local buses and taxis already make full use of the limited space available – which risks further reducing Ely’s attractiveness to visiting coaches.

ECDC said its application will go through the same process at the authority as any other planning application, and if granted permission work could begin in the second half of this year.

The deadline for objections to the planning application – which is numbered 15/01417/F3M  and can be viewed on www.eastcambs.gov.uk – closes on January 22.