The premises of a long-standing Harrogate district business are set to be demolished and replaced with a drive-thru coffee shop and car park, under a planning decision that has sparked anger and frustration among some residents of the neighbouring community.
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Pannal Dry Cleaners and Harrogate Suit Hire on Leeds Road will close after 10 years of business at the end of this month, to make way for what is understood to be a drive-thru Costa Coffee. The adjoining petrol station will also be demolished.
Objectors have said the plans submitted by Motor Fuel Limited do not reflect what the community wants or needs, and have raised concerns about the additional strain that could be placed on an already busy road.
Richard Hughes, who runs Pannal Dry Cleaners and Harrogate Suit Hire, said: “The road is busy enough without even more cars coming out of this unit onto Leeds road and wanting to turn right to go to Leeds.
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“The local community does not want or need a drive-thru coffee shop. And it will be a sad day when we have to close, I firmly believe that the community will be the poorer for it. I think the business will be sorely missed. We are overflowing with chocolates and good wishes from every one of our loyal and loving customers, who have valued the friendly, family service we have given them.”
In a statement which addresses criticism of the approved plans, a Harrogate Borough Council spokesperson said: “While we appreciate the demand for a variety of different retailers in the Harrogate district, the existing retail unit had no protection under existing or emerging planning policy.
“It was also acknowledged that the proposals would create local employment and an additional facility for the community. Through the planning process, the highways authority were consulted on the impact of the proposals.
“They had no objection subject to the recommended conditions.”
A design and access statement for the development outlines proposals for the coffee shop to be open seven days a week, from 7am to 10pm.