This is what firm behind controversial Starbucks drive-thu plans for Harrogate thinks

Residents are opposed, councillors are opposed, planning officers say they can't oppose it but what do the company behind plans for a new drive-thru near Woodlands corner in Harrogate think about the controversy that has run and run?

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:50 am
Battle ground - The site on Wetherby Road of the proposed new Starbucks drive-thru.

Euro Garages Limited, which will take its application to build a Starbucks drive-thru on Wetherby Road in Harrogate to a second appeal in June, has said it does not wish to make a full comment at the moment as the application to convert a at a former dentists on Wetherby Road gets set to go to a new appeal next month.

But the company did tell the Harrogate Advertiser that Harrogate Borough Council planning committee’s most recent objections to its application came as a surprise, as it followed an assessment from planning officers that a drive-thru coffee shop would, in fact, be acceptable in this location.

Blackburn-based Euro Garages also points to a lack of objections from the officer to the impact on neighbouring amenities or highway safety and for that reason they have chosen to make a second appeal against the Planning Committee’s decision..

A battle which first began in 2012, has seen councillors reject plans for the new drive-thru on three separate occasions citing concerns about highway safety, air quality and the living conditions of nearby residents in regards to noise and increased traffic.

Having been at the receiving end of several defeats from Harrogate councillors in its earlier attempts to win planning permission, Euro Garages submitted a revised scheme in 2019 after what it was “very careful consideration” of the details of the inspector’s ruling.

The firm’s revised 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 has been relocated to the front of the unit further away from existing dwellings.

Despite councillors' feelings, last week Harrogate Borough Council said it would not be fighting the latest appeal after planning officers confirmed there were no longer strong enough legal grounds for doing so- making it financially risky to challenge the application for Harrogate Borough Council - and taxpayers.

Speaking last week after the latest twist in the long-running saga, Harrogate Borough Council's cabinet member for planning Coun Tim Myatt said the council's ability to fight on was fatally compromised by the inability to find any planning consultants willing to back them in law.

But opposition leader Lib Dem Coun Pat Marsh is urging everyone to continue to back Woodlands residents in their No To Starbucks Campaign' and take the fight to the latest planning appeal next month.

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