Lack of hotel near new retail park a “missed opportunity”, Ely’s mayor says

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Ely’s mayor has welcomed the arrival of three major retailers to a new, out of town development, but says not including a hotel is a “missed opportunity”.

Councillor Richard Hobbs told Spotted in Ely that a family hotel would “boost the tourist economy in the area”.

Mr Hobbs said: “This is something which I would encourage the land owner to consider.“

Yesterday we reported that major chains Lidl, B&M and Wickes would be coming to Ely after planners gave the green light for Healy Investments to develop Octagon Business Park, near Angel Drove.

Cllr Hobbs, who represents Ely East at East Cambridgeshire District Council welcomed the news but expressed concern about the impact on the city centre, particularly on local businesses.

Mayor of Ely Richard Hobbs

He said: “I understand the need and desire for retail opportunities out of the city. I also appreciate that a development such as this will attract more visitors into the city and create new jobs.

“I hope that this development will not deter consumers away from the independent shops which makes our city so special.”

Cllr Hobbs has pledged to work with others to “protect the city centre as much as possible” in his roles as district and parish councillor, as well as mayor of Ely.

“We need to look at striking a balance, which means that both consumers and retailers get the best of both worlds.”

For more about the new retail park click here.