Costa gets the go-ahead despite residents’ protest

Costa Coffee is to open a shop in Stubbington
Costa Coffee is to open a shop in Stubbington
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A COUNCIL has given a Costa Coffee the green light to open despite opposition from residents.

Stubbington will be the home of a new coffee shop after the planning committee at Fareham Borough Council agreed to the application by Premier Coffee Ltd, the firm behind Costa Coffee.

That is despite more than 200 residents and business owners signing a petition opposing the plans.

Jim Forrest, borough councillor for Stubbington, said the new Costa will help the area.

He said: ‘The planning committee made the right decision because it will help with business in Stubbington.

‘I know a lot of residents and businesses opposed the plans but unfortunately, the grounds on which they objected aren’t solid reasons when it comes to planning.

‘I went along to the planning committee and gave my view that the new Costa would help businesses in Stubbington because people would spend more time in the centre browsing the other shops.

‘Also, it is filling empty outlets which will improve the look.’

Cllr Forrest added that there have always been three cafes in Stubbington since he’s been a councillor.

‘I know the owners of The Bakers objected but I don’t think they will be affected,’ he said.

‘We used to have three outlets that were of a similar style and they flourished.’

But when the proposal was first announced, Sharon Baker, owner of The Bakers, said the arrival could be the death of her business.

She said: ‘This is a village and we want to keep it that way.

‘I’ve been here eight years and I love it – it’s a real community. It’s a beautiful village.’

As reported, the Co-operative supermarket put in a planning application to split the site into two, with a smaller unit in the side which will become Costa.

But county councillor Chris Wood, who represents Fareham Crofton, said: ‘Obviously we don’t want empty shops in Stubbington but I am worried it will take away from other shops in the area.

‘I don’t want the village of Stubbington to lose its character.’

The coffee shop will be open Monday to Saturday 7am till 7.30pm and on Sundays from 8am till 6.30pm at the former Budgen’s site, on the high street.