11th hour move helps keep Barbara to retain her traditional wool shop in the centre of Ely

PUBLISHED: 16:14 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:33 10 November 2017

Curtis Yarns on High Street, Ely, is moving Chequer Lane on December 2. Photo: Steve Williams.

Curtis Yarns on High Street, Ely, is moving Chequer Lane on December 2. Photo: Steve Williams.

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An Ely businesswoman is to move her wool shop to new premises after being forced to quit the High Street to allow the neighbouring butcher's to expand.

What Edis of Ely butchers will look like once the extension is complete.What Edis of Ely butchers will look like once the extension is complete.

Barbara Curtis tried to prevent her neighbour – and landlord Edis of Ely - from expanding but her pleas to East Cambridgeshire planners fell on deaf ears.

Faced with the threat of closing the business she had run for a decade – the last four years from her current shop - Mrs Curtis has found alternative premises.

Curtis Yarns will close on November 18 and Mrs Curtis will open The Yarn Room on the top floor of Interiors of Ely on Chequers Lane on December 2.

She said: “The new shop is a lot smaller than where we are now and there’s very little storage space. I’m not very happy about it.

Edis of Ely will two inter linked shops, meaning neighbouring Curtis Yarns will move out on November 18.Edis of Ely will two inter linked shops, meaning neighbouring Curtis Yarns will move out on November 18.

“I thought that having to move out would mean we’re finished as everywhere else is too expensive but luckily I found the new shop six weeks ago.”

Last year when she discovered her neighbours wanted to add more space to Edis she launched a petition and warned their plans could spell the end of her own business.

She told council planners that “we deem Curtis Yarns to be an extremely important and necessary part of the community. Knitting and crocheting are highly therapeutic and these skills and crafts are helping to keep people sane in these turbulent times in which we live.”

Andrew and Marianne Lenton will combine both shops – and both Grade II listed - and redesign its front-facing doors and windows.

Mrs Curtis objected claiming she wasn’t “entirely sure the external elevations are totally in line with the historicity of Ely.

“Ms Lenton doesn’t seem to have considered or cared that Edis’ plans will probably signal the end of my yarn shop business which I too have worked extremely hard on for the last 10 years,” she added.

She had also warned the moving out would have put her five part-time staff out of work and have an affect on her health; she suffers from “chronic health conditions.”

However, the Edis application was approved, with case officer Lorraine Brown saying the plans were “designed to complement the existing street scene and the historic character of Ely town centre”.

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