A national coffee chain has opened its controversial store in Southwold town centre.

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Costa Coffee officially opened its High Street shop yesterday (Wednesday) but was open for several hours on Tuesday while staff completed last minute preparations and handed out free coffee vouchers around the town.

The town council and more than 600 people objected to the company’s plans to take over the former Fanny & Frank clothes shop amid concerns it could harm the town’s “unique character”.

But despite the opposition, its plans were given the go-ahead by Waveney District Council’s development control committee in August.

Store manager Glenn Crane, who previously managed the Costa Coffee outlet in Tesco, Beccles, said the shop had been busy since opening at 7am yesterday morning.

“We had workmen in at 7.10am wanting coffee,” he said. “We are surprised at how busy it has been.”

There was much speculation on social networking site Twitter in the build up to the low key opening with opinion split amongst social media users.

And Guy Mitchell, chairman of Southwold Chamber of Trade, urged people to keep supporting local independent businesses now that Costa Coffee had opened. He added: “With over 80pc of businesses being local independents, we’d encourage people to value the fact that Southwold offers something a little different.”

16 comments

  • I don't much care for coffee, but I'd be over the moon if Wetherspoons were to open up in Southwold and challenge the pub cartel which sells Adnams beer (and wine, food and soft drinks) at such grossly inflated prices.

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    T Doff

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Excellent news. Been waiting all winter. Now I can get a decent coffee at a price I can afford rather than another shop full of clothes, at prices I cannot!

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    Mooncat

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • I think pound land should open a shop in Southwold. Oh dear I can hear the rustling already.

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    bobby smith

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Tesco, Costa, W.H.Smith, whatever next? Q.D? McDonalds? Soon be like any other boring high street.

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    peter waller

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • I suspect that many of those who complained would have been first in the queue, clutching their free coffee vouchers

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    M

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • 'Costa' sums it up - rubbish coffee at inflated prices.

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    Father Brian

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Went in yesterday. Clean,warm,comfortable,nice coffee,charming staff.what's not to like

    Report this comment

    bathgirl

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • I still prefer Starbucks.

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    Thoreauwasright

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • I'm not really sure why the independents and council are concerned. Costa do not price cheaply or create a one-stop shop in the same way that supermarkets do, which is what puts others out of business. Their image is smart and suits the town architecture. If you feel threatened, stop moaning and become competitive - or perhaps you know your product is inferior?

    Report this comment

    AE

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Oh goody! Another poll.

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    Thoreauwasright

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • With the locals insisting they will boycott Costa, I'll certainly use it. At least I won't have to mix with a bunch of snobs!

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Load of fuss about nothing. If the residents don't like it all they have to do is not go in. Simples

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • I am sure many people would support local businesses and cafes if they were actually open when they wanted to use them.

    Report this comment

    mike smith

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Could have been worse, could have been Starbucks, with their sludge imported straight from the Mississippi delta!!

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    Muggas Budal

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • I read once that Southwold people didn`t want Costawotsit because they are `snobby`. Been to Southwold only the once for a three day break, no graffitti no litter no yobs.If this is being `snobby` then bring it on!

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Father Brian, if that's the case they should fit in well with all the independents selling coffee in Southwold.

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    Tea&Biscuits

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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