Open letter to Mr Pickles MP – Ely Bypass

Dear Eric,

I understand that the proposed bypass for Ely has been referred to you, effectively taking the decision for its approval out of the hands of elected county councillors.

The need for a bypass has been made repeatedly by the vast majority of the residents of Ely. Local councillors support the new bypass. Local business supports the bypass. Critically, Ely Cathedral supports the bypass.

So it seems unelected quangos and single issue pressure groups have some objection to the bypass. These objections relate to the view of Ely Cathedral from one specific direction. This view is already compromised by a range of existing industrial buildings. The bypass will go some way to hide them.

Imagine if Ely Cathedral did not exist and a planning application to build it was received now. Would that be turned down because it spoilt the view of the Fens?

I know you are a champion of local democracy and the rights of local people. I respectfully request you listen to the voices of the local people and waste little time approving this fantastic piece of infrastructure.

Referring planning decisions to you is increasingly being seen as a way of circumnavigating proper and democratic planning decisions. This is bad for democracy and is bringing the planning process into disrepute.

It is also costing a lot of extra taxpayers money.

Is it not time to review the planning system and in particular the increasing centralised approach?

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