Money Shop jumps the gun in rush to open up in Wisbech

SO keen was a chain of money lenders to move into Wisbech they opened for business without planning permission.

The Money Shop expects to handle on average 100 pay day loans, rising to 250 to 300 on Friday.

They opened this week at the same time as Fenland planners began a public consultation on changing the use of the shop.

Until recently the shop at 1-2 Market Street was occupied by clothes retailer Size Up but needs council consent for change of use.

The company paid their application fee last month- but have jumped the gun before councillors can make a decision.


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“If they are opening before it has gone through planning, they will be doing it at their own risk,” said a council spokesman.

The Money Shop – whose services include pay day loans and pawn broking - opened its doors on Tuesday.

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A spokesman said the refit had been carefully managed “to ensure it has not altered the fabric of the building.

“We will work closely with council officials to resolve all outstanding issues and hope for a positive response.”

A planning application to change the use of the site at 1-2 Market Street and 13 Market Place has been submitted to Fenland District Council; but no decision is expected for more than a month.

A spokesman from the council said: “The expiry date for comments is December 5, and there is a notice up on the premises, inviting comments from the public.”

The Money Shop, the UK’s leading short term lender, has moved into a previously empty shop unit. Its last occupant was the ladies clothing store Size Up which closed seven months ago.

Sasha Rouse, the store manager who leads a three-strong team, said: “The services we will offer in store will include payday loans, pawn broking, gold to cash, foreign exchange, cheque cashing, pre-paid cards and Western Union money transfers.”

The Money Shop’s solicitor has submitted a report in support of the application to Fenland District Council.

It says “The proposed use can only reinforce the mix of uses in the centre and would not result in the loss of the dominant retail element ……….we believe that the proposal would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the primary shopping frontage or the town centre as a whole.”

The report continues: “It should be noted that the proposed change of use will provide a beneficial reuse of a property which has been vacant for over six months which in combination with other vacant units, is likely to impinge upon the vitality and viability of Wisbech town centre.

“In this case, The Money Shop will re-introduce an active frontage in this location, reinvigorating the vitality and viability of the area.”

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