The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles MP will make a decision on whether to call in plans for Ely Bypass.

The National Planning Casework Unit has issued a so called "˜holding direction' on behalf of the Secretary of State.

As stated in the letter to Cambridgeshire County Council, this direction does not prevent Cambridgeshire County Council from considering the application for the new road, forming a view as to the merits or, if we were so minded refusing permission. However, if members were minded to support the scheme planning permission cannot be granted until the Secretary of State has ruled whether he wants to determine it himself.

The Planning Committee will meet on Monday, September 8, and consider the application and form an opinion.

This was not unexpected as both supporters and opponents of the scheme have lobbied the Secretary of State. The County Council's planning department has kept the National Planning Casework Unit updated and had anticipated that a holding direction could be issued due to the complexity of the application.

Depending on the decision of the Secretary of State the application will either be determined by him or sent back to the County Council for a final decision.

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