Ely markets team concerned at plans for new Boots opticians

10:24 25 February 2014

The former Starbucks outlet, in Ely.

The former Starbucks outlet, in Ely.

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A planning application by national retailer Boots to move into a former coffee shop in Ely has prompted concern among market traders.

The cosmetics and pharmaceuticals giant applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council back in December to convert the former Starbucks outlet, in High Street, into a specialist opticians and hearing aid centre.

But the district council’s town centre’s team believes that, if the application is approved, scaffolding will have to be erected, which could result in market traders being forced off their pitches for a number of weeks.

In a letter to the district council, Julia Davis, said: “We are concerned that any exterior works and scaffolding associated with this property will have an adverse affect on our weekly markets.

“It will probably mean the loss of two or three regular market pitches which obviously has a financial loss for us as market operator and for our regular traders losing their pitch and livelihood for the duration of the works being carried out.”

According to its plans, Boots has applied to put up two fascia boards and two hanging “heritage” signs outside the shop, which also fronts on to Dolphin Lane.

Plans to expand the High Street entrance and install an exit on to Dolphin Lane are also included in the plans.

Starbucks moved out of Ely back in September 2012, stating that it was not generating enough profit from the branch.

The City of Ely Council said it had no problem with the plans.

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