Gosport residents celebrate victory as drive-thru Starbucks plans axed

Starbucks' plan for a drive-thru in Gosport was refused by councillors last year. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Starbucks' plan for a drive-thru in Gosport was refused by councillors last year. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

PLANS to build a drive-thru Starbucks in a leisure park have been thrown out by the council, after more than 100 residents objected to the proposal.

Proposals had been submitted to Gosport Borough Council for a drive-thru Starbucks at Gosport Leisure Park in Forest Way, which was recommended for approval by council officers, subject to conditions.

But following 127 letters of objection from local residents, councillors voted to pull the plug on the project on Wednesday night.

Residents are celebrating the announcement, saying it has allowed them to ‘breathe again’.

Paul Kemp, 67, helped co-ordinate a campaign to get the plans refused by Gosport Borough Council.

He said: ‘There were about half a dozen reasons why we didn’t want this to go ahead.

‘My biggest concern was the traffic on the estate – cars are turning it into a total rat run at the moment.

‘There’s also the distance to the playground that concerned us; Starbucks were willing to put a slow moving traffic queue, pumping out fumes, right next to a children’s playpark.

‘That, plus the fear of more litter problems and the fact that we have Costa opening soon, meant that the Starbucks application just made no sense to any of us.

‘It’s not a case of “not in my back yard” – it’s jut that it would be crazy for the council to go ahead with the plans.’

Mr Kemp says that the reaction to the news in the area has been overwhelmingly positive.

He explained: 'People on the estate itself seem very relieved.

‘Hopefully the council won’t accept a similar application on the site in the future – unless it’s something that genuinely compliments Gosport Leisure Centre and benefits everyone living around here.

‘A little cafe would have been absolutely fine.’

Former borough councillor for Rowner and Holbrook, Patrick Bergin, spoke at the council meeting in opposition to the plans.

He said: ‘This is a huge victory for the residents – the drive-thru presented too many problems and our opposition to the plans was based mostly off of that.

‘We are very proud of our local community and the big thing for us is that we got hundreds of people together under one banner.

‘It’s been great to see everyone join forces like this.’

Starbucks was approached by The News for comment.