Planning advice secures leisure complex approval
Date of Article
Jun 09 2011

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Expertise from Carter Jonas in Cambridge has helped secure planning permission for a new leisure complex in Ely for client, East Cambridgeshire District Council.


The plans, which were developed in consultation with district residents and special interest parties which included Natural England and Sport England, include a 25 metre six-lane swimming pool, a water area for young children and a six-court sports hall together with features such as flumes, dance and aerobics studios, indoor cricket facilities and a health suite with sauna, steam and spa bath facilities.


Modernisation of the existing sports centre and swimming pool is restricted by its city centre location and the case had to be made for the new site and sustainable access to the site in the form of public transport and pedestrian/cycle link routes had to be demonstrated in the plans.


Given the historical interest of the city of Ely, other aspects negotiated through the planning process by the Carter Jonas planning team - which was headed by senior associate, Richard Seamark - included addressing the visual impact of the new plans against the landmark which is the city’s Grade I Listed Cathedral building and its precinct which are highly visible from all approaches to the city.


The archaeological significance of the new leisure complex site - which is on Downham Road, to the north of the city’s central area – and the presence of protected species had all to be negotiated by Carter Jonas’s planners ahead of the successful submission.


With planning consent granted, East Cambridgeshire District Council is currently investigating funding options in order to develop and build this new leisure facility for the district.