11:28 Monday 13 January 2014

Former Starbucks premises in Ely to become Boots Opticians

Written byJORDAN DAY

The former Starbucks premises in Ely High Street. The former Starbucks premises in Ely High Street.

A former coffee shop in Ely is set to become an opticians, Ely News can confirm.

Bosses at Boots Opticians have applied for planning permission to take over the former Starbucks premises on the corner of High Street.

The building, which has stood empty for around 18 months, is located next door to Specsavers opticians.

Boots have applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to erect new signage at the site, as well as carry out internal and external alterations to turn it into a Boots Opticians.

In a statement to planners, their agents Lewis and Hickey said: “The proposed site is within the main retail area of Ely.

“The existing unit is Grade II listed and in the conservation area of Ely.

“As a responsible retailer, Boots UK understands the requirement to preserve the building and any alterations to the building must be suited to the building and its surroundings.”

They say renovating the premises into an opticians would complement the services Boots offers from its existing store in Ely’s Market Place.

The agents said: “The existing two-storey building is to be retained and no changes are to be undertaken to affect the overall height and scale of the building.

“The scale of the proposals are in keeping with the building and the surrounding area.”

Global coffee shop chain Starbucks shut its doors in Ely in the winter of 2012 after around seven years in the city.

Speaking at the time, a spokeswoman for the firm said: “Like many other retailers, and as part of the normal course of our business over the year, we regularly review our stores to ensure they’re contributing to a sustainable business for the future.

“Consequently, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close our store in Ely.”

The district council could make a decision on the fresh proposals within eight weeks.

To view them in full or to have your say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

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