Why council is once again looking at plans for Starbucks drive-thru close to busy Harrogate junction

The busy junction between Hookstone Chase and Wetherby Road in Harrogate.
The busy junction between Hookstone Chase and Wetherby Road in Harrogate.

An appeal is underway which could see an application for a drive-thru Starbucks in Harrogate go ahead, reversing a council decision to reject the proposal a year ago.

'Major concerns' over Harrogate Convention Centre performance amid budget overspend
Harrogate Borough Council initially declined the proposal for a drive-thru coffee shop at the site of a former dentistry at 112 Wetherby Road based over concerns on highway safety, air quality and the living conditions of nearby residents in regards to noise and increased traffic.

Applicants Euro Garages lodged an appeal following HBC’s rejection of the proposal in August 2017, with the planning hearing held at the council’s civic centre on Wednesday (November 14).

Representatives for the applicant and Harrogate and North Yorkshire council staff debated the decision, with Planning Inspectorate representative Siobhan Watson, who chaired the meeting, to make a decision on the appeal in the coming weeks.

Is this the one job that nobody in Harrogate wants?
One of the key issues is conjecture over the impact of a new drive-thru shop on traffic on the busy street, specifically heading towards Harrogate, given the site’s proximity to a busy traffic junction on the Wetherby Road.

Traffic engineering team leader for North Yorkshire County Council, James Smith, told the hearing that council’s major concern was the movement of traffic away from Harrogate which could be impacted by vehicles turning right into the drive-thru.

Four weeks from slaughter: Boroughbridge couple in race to rehome 6,000 free-range hens by Christmas

Initial plans for the project lodged by the applicant state the £1.5 million development, which would include the demolition and redevelopment of the existing building, would employ 30 people.

Almost 30 letters opposing the plans were sent to HBC planners went the application previously went before council, with the majority voicing concerns over traffic in the area.