A PLAN to create a Starbucks drive-thru cafe has been resurrected at a site beside a housing estate where it was once hoped a traditional-style market square would be built.
Developers have submitted a revised proposal for the 167sq m outlet on waste ground off Woodland Avenue, Colburn, to Richmondshire District Council, just months after the authority rejected their plan for the site and government inspectors later refused their appeal.
When the original scheme, which also included building two shops and a parking area, was debated last October, councillors said residents of the area had been “sold down the river” and a development plan should have been agreed for the whole area.
In the event, the former CPM Pipeworks factory site to the southern edge of Colburn is being developed in piecemeal fashion, making it more difficult for the council to insist on features that benefit the community.
While the previous proposal was rejected over “poor design”, access issues and its impact on neighbours, following the dismissal of the appeal developers ELG, which had previously refused to negotiate further compromises to the scheme, re-entered into talks with the council.
In planning documents submitted with the latest proposal, a spokesman for the developers said: “While it was clear that there was reluctance to accept the nature of the proposed use for the site, there was some useful dialogue concerning the design and layout of the scheme and the need to improve its appearance given the prominence of this gateway site.
“With this in mind, as well as the Inspectors remaining concerns, the scheme has been amended to address this issue with the introduction of additional landscaping, reduction of the quantum of development and the reorientation of the building on the plot.”
As a result, the proposed development has been reduced to the drive thru unit, which the developers say will reduce the amount of traffic it generates and the impact on the nearby residential properties, and allowing the site to be more open, therefore respecting the character of the local area.
A drive thru’ lane would be provided around the building and 32 car parking spaces will be provided to the front of the unit. An external seating area would be built to the front of the outlet.
The proposed access point has also been relocated away from the existing homes and close boarded timber fence removed in an attempt to give the site a more open feel when viewed from the junction at Catterick Road.
It is understood some residents and councillors believe the prominent site has become an eyesore and that the latest proposal would have a positive impact on the appearance of the site and surrounding area.
The American coffee chain has dozens of drive-thru sites across the UK, including a growing number in the North-East.