Eight page enforcement notice wrapped round giant cuppa  

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer with the enforcement notice now showing around the bottom. 

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer with the enforcement notice now showing around the bottom. - Credit: Ely Standard Reader

Love it or loathe it, once Britain’s biggest cup of tea measuring 3.1m tall with a diameter of 2.1m is about to be banished from Ely.  

East Cambridgeshire District Council plastered marching orders all around the High Flyer’s recently acquired promotional tea cup. 

Network Rail first commissioned the giant cuppa, in 2014, when it opened solar installations at Blackfriars station, London. 

Network Rail first commissioned the giant cuppa, in 2014, when it opened solar installations at Blackfriars station, London. - Credit: Network Rail

Headed “notice to remove advertising hoarding on a structure” the eviction notice is signed by head of planning Rebecca Saunt.  

In no uncertain terms she told the pub’s Newnham Street owners “what you are required to do”. 

And that, quite simply, is to remove it.  

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer, Ely, when it was first delivered

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer, Ely, when it was first delivered - Credit: Ely Standard reader


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The giant cuppa was acquired off E-Bay but originally commissioned by Network Rail in 2014 to celebrate the launch of a solar bridge at Blackfriars station, London. 

It has recently been given an Alice in Wonderland make-over.  

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer with the enforcement notice now showing around the bottom. 

Giant cuppa outside High Flyer with the enforcement notice now showing around the bottom. - Credit: Ely Standard reader

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But East Cambs Council was alerted and hand delivered an eight-page enforcement order – wrapping individual sheets around the giant cuppa.  

The pub has been given “time for compliance” and the small print says they have until the end of August to remove it.  

The notice is headed ‘power to remove structure’ and the council says its powers come from the Town and Country Planning Act. 

The pub can appeal – which could force a stay of execution – but failing that the council is entitled to “enter the land and remove it”. 

The cuppa has split opinion since it was erected at the end of June prior to re-opening of the High Flyer as a boutique hotel.  

The pub describes the cuppa as bringing a “new addition to our team... our HUGE cup of POSITIVITEA,". 

And they volunteered that “after the last year, we wanted to add something inspirational to make sure you all have a BREW-TIFUL day, even if you're just driving past”. 

The cup has a colourful Alice in Wonderland theme by artist Neil Arms.  

And he swung public opinion from it being a monstrosity to collecting a barrage of “positive comments” 

But not all.  

One resident insists “Ely has been mugged by this eyesore” although another described it as “pretty cool”. 

The support has fallen on deaf ears round the corner at the council’s Nutholt Lane HQ for whom it no ‘storm in a tea cup’. 

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