Ely will have it’s very own Starbucks coffee shop by mid-summer. Planning permission has now been granted for the conversion of the old ‘Thresher’ wine shop on the corner of the High Street/Butter market junction.
The application reads:
Change of use and conversion of ground floor to Starbucks coffee shop (mixed A1 (shop) & A3 (food and drink) use). Continued use of first floor as 2 number self-contained flats including the enlargement of one flat at 49 High Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire by SEP Properties Limited.
Work began recently although it was briefly suspended when visiting local conservation officers noticed that period beams of the listed building had been tampered with. Permission was granted on the understanding that the listed building’s interior was not altered.
Mr. Gallagher for East Cambs Disitrict Council said: “No serious damage was done to the beams, but our officer felt it was necessary to halt work until they agreed to abide by the planning permission granted.”
Starbucks had sought permission to have a seated area outside but that was denied as it was thought the tables and chairs would ‘impede access to the Market Square’ and restrict access to the High Street pavement by pedestrians. This is surprising considering the number of coffee/tea and sandwich shops that do just that around the Market Square area as well as a growing number of advertisement stands blocking the High Street.
American brand Starbucks entered the UK market in 1998 when it acquired the ‘Seattle Coffee Company’ stores in the UK.
Their website states, ‘Starbucks focuses on a great commitment to customised coffee and a mutual respect for people and the environment.
The layout and atmosphere of Starbucks stores is specifically designed to be cosy and intimate, while at the same time providing people with their own personal space to use as they wish. The combination of sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and chairs, bars and stools and meeting room tables means that there is something for everyone. ‘
At time of posting Starbucks were unavailable for comment.