Starbucks launches appeal against Gosport council’s refusal of drive-thru coffee shop
INTERNATIONAL coffee chain Starbucks has lodged an appeal against Gosport Borough Council, after plans for a new drive-thru coffee shop were blocked.
In December last year, councillors voted against the plans to build a drive-thru at Gosport Leisure Park in Fareham Road, following opposition from hundreds of residents.
Now, the coffee company is looking to overturn this decision, taking the matter to the government’s planning inspectorate.
The firm believes that the addition of a drive-thru would compliment what is already at the leisure park, considering the application to be ‘entirely appropriate’ for the site.
But campaigners say that following the success of the Brockhurst Gate Retail Park, a drive-thru Starbucks would add further complications for residents.
Former councillor Patrick Bergin was one of those who led the charge against the application.
He says that environmental and traffic problems are ‘just about’ under control at the moment, but is concerned about what the addition of another business could do to the area.
Mr Bergin said: ‘We always said that this was not about the vendor – but about the location. Our campaign culminated at the regulatory board meeting and we won the day.
‘This appeal is bad news – now the shopping centre over the road is fully open, we can see that congestion and emissions are worse than predicted when the plan was approved – but they do seem just about manageable.
‘To add another drive-thru on this side of the road would be dreadful.
‘We are fighting this and making representations to the Secretariat in Bristol who are handling the appeal.’
The appeal was lodged by Harkalm Investments on behalf of Starbucks, saying that the application met the desired planning policies.
It reads: ‘The proposed development, including the drive-thru facility, will provide a complementary use to the existing leisure uses within the leisure park.
‘Notwithstanding that the proposal will draw in some additional drive-thru trade from passing motorists who are not users of the leisure park, this does not preclude the fact that the unit will predominantly serve users of the leisure park, both through those purchasing in store to eat in or take away, and also those using the drive-thru facility on their route into or out of the leisure park.’
The planning inspectorate has not yet announced a decision date.