New plans for former Woolworths in Cambs town centre

The former Woolworths shop in Huntingdon became a 99p shop, which then closed
-Credit: (Image: Google Earth)

A former Woolworths building in Cambridgeshire could see major changes if a planning application is approved. A planning meeting will discuss the future of the building in Huntingdon's high street on Monday (July 15).

Plans to turn the former Woolworths building into a car showroom and hotel with 31 rooms were submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) in May last year. The plans would see the ground floor shop unit divided into two smaller shop units with the car showroom at the rear of the building.

A HDC officer has recommended that the authority refuse the application although Huntingdon Town Council has recommended it be approved. Members of the town council did raise concerns about the fire safety of the hotel rooms, accessibility of the hotel for disabled users, and potential parking concerns.

A report published ahead of the HDC meeting said: "Lastly concerns were raised about in keeping with the heritage of the High Street and whether there was a market for an executive car showroom in Huntingdon." The planning authority is also considering an application for listed building consent which is required for any works to a listed building – the building at 111 High Street is Grade II listed.

Woolworths opened in Huntingdon in 1935 and moved to the larger premises at 111 High Street in 1970. The building had previously been the Fountain Inn.

After Woolworths closed in 2008, the building became a 99p shop before becoming vacant in 2021. A heritage statement submitted with the planning application said: "There are no plans to affect the listed front section other than working with the existing room layouts."

You can view the planning application here.