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Pickles says bypass decision can be made locally

Words: Laura Edgar

The government has ruled that Cambridgeshire County Council can give planning permission for a new Ely Southern Bypass.

Earlier this month, the county council had supported the £30 million proposals. However, planning permission for the 1.7km long road sought by Knight Architects, which will link Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway, could not be granted until communities secretary Eric Pickles decided whether or not he wanted to determine the plans himself after he issued a ‘holding decision.’

Cambridgeshire County Council has now received a letter on his behalf saying that the decision should be made locally, with formal permission due to be granted.

The bypass should reduce journey times between A10 and Stuntney Causeway by 56 per cent and reduce delays to motorists leaving Ely's train station by 50 per cent at peak times.

Ian Bates, chair of the council's economy and environment committee, said the decision was very good news for localism as well as good news for Ely, which has suffered with congestion at this crossing.

Bates continued: “The new bypass will help boost the local economy and mean that this important station gateway to the city can be improved. I would like to thank the secretary of state for listening to local arguments about the importance of this bypass and the need for it to be determined locally. We will now get on and build this vital road as soon as possible.”