A NATIONAL coffee chain will be allowed to open in a high street after a storm of protest faded away.
Councillors voted unanimously to allow Costa Coffee to open in the former Barclays Bank in High Street, Emsworth.
Emsworth Business Association, Emsworth Residents’ Association and The Emsworth Forum had initially fought the plan, arguing it would harm the town’s independent character.
But they agreed not to object after Costa Coffee franchisee, Premier Coffee, offered to bring in a number of community features.
These include becoming a tourist information point, setting up a reading corner and supporting apprenticeships.
Premier will apply to join the Emsworth Business Association and make a contribution towards the town’s Christmas lights.
Last night, at The Plaza in Havant, councillors agreed there was no planning reason to refuse the coffee shop.
The agent for the developer, Simon Millett, said; ‘Costa Coffee would bring its own customer base and potentially other retailers into Emsworth.’
The meeting was told there had been 114 written objections and 27 letters in favour.
Councillor Rivka Creswell, speaking on behalf of Emsworth Cllr Brendan Gibb-Gray, told the planning committee: ‘The high street in order to survive needs to constantly change.’
Alistair Gibson, from the business association, told The News: ‘Ultimately it’s good news for Emsworth.
‘We have had a series of meetings with Premier Coffee and it would appear they do want to integrate into the community.
‘They have listened to our concerns.’