Planning permission for a new Ely Southern Bypass can be given by Cambridgeshire County Council the Secretary of State has ruled.

Proposals to build the bypass for Ely had been backed unanimously by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Planning Committee this month.

But permission could not be granted for the 1.7km long road, linking Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway, until the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, decided whether he wanted to determine the plans himself.

The County Council has now received a letter on his behalf saying that the decision should be made locally.

The Planning Committee granted planning permission subject to the decision made by the Secretary of State after he had issued a so called ‘holding decision.’ The formal permission is now due to be granted.

The bypass aims to reduce journey times between A10 and Stuntney Causeway by 56 per cent and reduce delays for motorists leaving the station by 50 per cent at peak times. Closing the level crossing will also mean more freight can travel by rail.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: “This is good news for localism and even better news for Ely which has for years had to put up with this congested and accident blighted crossing. 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.”

Work will now start on a detailed design ready to appoint a contractor to build the scheme.

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