Shop conversion's limited approval

PUBLISHED: 15:03 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 13:23 04 May 2010

BUSINESSMAN John Borland has won the backing of planners to tear down and rebuild his former fruit and veg shop in an Ely conservation area. But at a district council planning meeting they slapped a three-year time limit on the work and are eager to ensur

BUSINESSMAN John Borland has won the backing of planners to tear down and rebuild his former fruit and veg shop in an Ely conservation area.

But at a district council planning meeting they slapped a three-year time limit on the work and are eager to ensure that rebuilding closely follows demolition.

They have also asked for full details of all building materials to be used on the Market Street shop.

The plan involves pulling down the existing building and constructing two shop units on the ground floor with two one-bedroom flats above.

In the two years since it became vacant, the building has fallen into disrepair and is unlettable in its present condition, East Cambridgeshire District Council planning committee members were told at their meeting last Wednesday.

Since the 1960s, various alterations have been made to the building and "due to long-term neglect and previous unsympathetic alterations over many years", the building is not suitable for listing, the committee was told.

The new shops and flats would have buff-coloured facing brickwork with a contrasting soft red-brick gable to the rear and the roofing would be plain tiles.

Painted timber would be used for the shop fronts and black cast iron gutters and drainpipes would be used to maintain the building's traditional appearance.

East Cambridgeshire District Council slapped an enforcement notice on the building earlier this year, ordering work to be carried out to improve its appearance after complaints from residents.

Mr Borland, who also runs The Fountain pub in Ely and Borland's Service Station in Cambridge Road, is appealing against the enforcement notice and this will be heard at the city's magistrates court in June.

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