Former car showroom to be given no lease of life as shop plans approved
22:55 12 April 2014
Plans to convert a former car showroom in Ely into a possible mini-supermarket have been given the go-ahead by planning officials.
KDM Enterprises – understood to be a shop-fitting firm based in Scotland – wants to change the use of the former Marshalls garage in St Mary’s Street from a car showroom into a retail and business hub.
The unit has sat empty for more than a year.
Speculation - driven by the fact that KDM has worked with Tesco in the past - has abounded that the vacant building could be about to become a mini-supermarket.
According to the company’s application, the change of use would result in 20 new part-time jobs and 10 new full-time jobs.
According to the plans, the premises would includes retail floor space, a warehouse, a food preparation area, offices and a staff room.
Neighbours of the site complained to East Cambridgeshire District Council that the extra traffic in the area would cause a noise nuisance and leave pedestrians at risk but the council dismissed the concerns.
In his report, case officer Scott Jackson, said: “In this case it is considered that the scale and nature of the retailing will meet a local community need and will not have an adverse impact on the viability and vitality of Ely city centre.
“In addition, the proposed change of use will create employment, it will bring a vacant site back into active use. It will enhance the character and appearance of the Ely conservation are and is an accessible site.”