OPINION: Common sense must prevail in fight against Starbucks drive-thru on 'notorious' Harrogate road

FROM: Jill Walters, Woodlands

Monday, 24th May 2021, 10:13 am
Updated Monday, 24th May 2021, 10:14 am

Ask anyone who lives in or regularly visits Harrogate and they will tell you what a nightmare it is navigating through the Woodlands Pub junction on the A661 Wetherby Road.

Already an Air Quality Management Area, the road is notorious for traffic jams and frustrated drivers! It seems incredulous that there is yet another planning appeal to build a Starbucks Café with drive-thru on the site of the old dental laboratories – situated in the heart of this busy junction.

With two traffic lanes currently heading towards the town centre and two traffic lanes heading outbound towards Wetherby, how on earth can a new dedicated ‘Starbucks’ fifth lane in between them all be classed as safe?!

The former dental building on Wetherby Road in Harrogate which may become a Starbucks drive-thru. (Picture Gerard Binks)

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Not only that, but with the proposed long opening hours the poor residents who live on the border of the site and opposite the site are likely to have all of their privacy, safety and air quality compromised seven days a week.

Please, please, please let common sense and the local knowledge and experience of the people of Harrogate prevail. Drive-thrus are best placed at motorway service stations, large retail parks and industrial estates and not on major road junctions in a residential area.

Yes, the site is an eyesore and in desperate need of development and everyone who lives in the Woodlands area wishes it to be smartened up – but this really is not the answer. Perhaps we could suggest offices or houses as a sensible solution?!