A COUPLE have spoken of their relief after finally getting the green light to carry out repairs to their bakery ten months after a car ploughed into the shopfront.

Hume’s Bakery, in Halstead High Street, has been operating in the town for nearly 60 years and even won the Essex Baker of Year crown in 2010.

But the business was rocked last year after the bakery was badly damaged when a car careered off the road and ploughed straight into the shopfront.

The car driver lost control after suffering a stroke behind the wheel.

Following the crash, staff at the bakery stayed up all night clearing the debris and doing what they could to fix the damage.

Despite the damage the bakery defiantly stayed open, continuing to serve customers.

But it has been a frustrating ten months for owners Ann and Dennis Hume as they waited for the green light from Braintree Council to start repairs to the listed building.

Mr Hume said: “It’s been a long process. The bakery is Grade II listed so we’ve had to wait for both local planning and listed building planning and it takes an age.

“We’ve had to wait for permission and it’s taken a long time – too long really.

“All we wanted to do was put the shop back to the way it was, we didn’t want to change anything.

“It’s frustrating the amount of time it’s taken ­– it was longer than needed.

“I mean, look at Whispers, that took a very long time too.

“We haven’t had a display window for nearly a year and that can’t help business. It’s very frustrating.

“The outside of the shop had been all boarded up and very little daylight gets in.

“It will be super to get back on course and recover trade because at the moment, despite our efforts, it sometimes looks like we’re not open.”

Matters were made worse when son and baker Adrian broke his ankle before Christmas.

Amazingly, former baker Dennis, 83, stepped in, arriving at 3am each day.

The bakery is now set to close from March 9 to 10 while repairs are carried out although it is possible repairs could overrun until March 11.

The family-run business is also looking forward to celebrating its 60th anniversary after first opening its doors on April 1, 1960.