Ely City Centre
Over the past few years there has been considerable pressures from retail companies who are interested in investing in Ely, particularly from supermarkets and food retailers. Ely City Centre is constrained by its historic heritage and limitations in respect of car parking and traffic circulation. However enabling an increase in the number of shops is crucial to maintaining and expanding the viability of the existing city centre and ensuring that more retail spend is retained in the local area.
The Ely Masterplan identifies potential opportunity sites in and close to the city centre where retail and other land uses could be considered. The Masterplan concept is to strengthen the centre of Ely as a place to work, live, visit and shop. The approach is to maximise the potential of opportunity sites within the historic city centre in order to provide additional shopping floorspace, leisure/cultural facilities, and central high density residential accommodation. These will bring additional people into the city centre, encourage a more lively evening economy as well as a more thriving retail centre. The areas identified in the Masterplan include:-
- High Street/Market Street Alleyways - intensifying the retail uses in these passageways
- Paradise - redevelopment following the relocation of the sports facilities currently on the site
- Nutholt Lane/District Council offices site - redevelopment should the current uses of the site be relocated
- Nutholt Lane/Ambulance, police site - redevelopment should the current uses of the site be relocated
Following formal approval of the Ely Masterplan as the Council's long term policy and vision for Ely, work has been further progressed on two of these sites; Paradise and Nutholt Lane/District Council offices site. More detailed studies have been undertaken to develop concept plans for each of these sites, examining what mix of uses can be obtained on the land available, the viability and deliverability of this, and whether this will be of interest to the commercial sector. The studies have also taken into account the significant heritage, pedestrian and traffic circulation considerations. The report on these studies will be available shortly. This work will be incorporated into the review of the District Council's Local Development Framework planning document for formal public consultation later in 2011/2012.