Southwold Costa coffee objections run into hundreds

PUBLISHED: 15:40 31 July 2012

70, high street, Southwold. Costa coffee planning application  Picture: Nick Butcher

70, high street, Southwold. Costa coffee planning application Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

HUNDREDS of objections have been registered in opposition to a national coffee chain’s second attempt to move into a seaside Suffolk town.

Costa Coffee Costa Coffee

District planners have been inundated by letters and e-mails protesting at a resubmitted application by Costa Coffee to open a branch in Southwold.

More than 300 objections have been logged in the three weeks since the company announced a second bid to move into the High Street.

It came less than a month after an initial application, which itself attracted 97 complaints, was turned down by Waveney District Council’s development control committee.

Posters condemning the resubmission have been put up around the town as part of a campaign calling for it to again be thrown out under planning policy CS10, protecting existing “retail, leisure and office facilities to ensure continued vitality and viability”.

Guy Mitchell, chairman of Southwold and District Chamber of Trade, said: “We see no reason why Waveney would not throw this submission out for the same reason.

“People are making themselves quite clear by writing to Waveney in objection. This is rather more than signing a petition – it requires effort.”

In resubmitting, Costa Coffee, represented by estate agents Savills, argued that the increased competition caused by opening a new branch was not a planning issue, and claimed an outlet would complement independent retailers and employ local people. The company urged the council to reconsider its decision to refuse the application or face a potential appeal.

The latest proposal is due to go before the committee the week beginning Monday, August 13.

In the meantime, letters of objection continue to be logged with Waveney – one of the latest reading: “Southwold has a small resident population, and relies heavily on tourism. Its reputation is, and always has been, as a characterful town with an interesting range of largely independent owned shops.

“Over the years the style of those shops has changed as tastes change, but the essential character has remained the same.”

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