Council block Harrogate Starbucks drive-thru bid for a third time

Plans to open a drive-thru Starbucks in Harrogate have been refused for a third time.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 6:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 6:35 pm

The borough council’s planning committee threw out plans for the Wetherby Road site on Monday, citing concerns over the impact on air quality in the area from idling cars using the drive-thru.

It was also felt that the coffee shop would have an adverse effect on local residents.

The Hookstone Road junction with Wetherby Road is a renowned traffic blackspot in Harrogate.

It is the third time the plans for the site have come up short. International petrol station-managing firm Euro Garages submitted an application in May to convert the former dental surgery into a drive-thru coffee shop.

Last year, a Government Inspector upheld Harrogate Borough Council’s decision to reject a similar proposal.

Euro Garages had lodged an appeal after their application was knocked back by the authority in August 2017 amid concerns over the impact it might have on highway safety, air quality and nearby residents.

A representative of the Government Inspectorate subsequently backed the council’s decision, on the grounds that a business at the site would cause “unacceptable” harm to the living conditions of nearby residents.

However, in an updated planning statement, Euro Garages state the inspector’s decision was considered “very carefully” in the revised scheme.

The new plans included a reduction in the size of the proposed building to allow for an increased amount of landscaping between the business and neighbouring properties, while parking had been relocated to the front of the unit further away from existing dwellings.

Harrogate Council’s planning committee had been recommended by their planning officers to approve the plans.

A report prepared for councillors stated: “This revised proposed information has demonstrated to Officers that the proposed development can operate in the area without causing a detrimental impact to the neighbouring residents or business.”

But councillors instead decided to once again block the move. Plans for a coffee shop on the site were first submitted in 2012.

Local residents have long stood against the proposal raising issues with both noise and air pollution.