Coffee chain leaves bitter taste for town protesters
A COSTA coffee shop is due to open in Bingham, despite a protest petition signed by 1,600 people in the town.
Rushcliffe Borough Council has given permission for the outlet to open at the old Odd Bins unit, in Eaton Place, at the entrance to Bingham's shopping precinct.
Bingham is already home to four coffee shops and much of the opposition to the plans f came from people who say they valued the independent trading of the town.
Keyvan Ganji, owner of Cafe Piano, in Market Place, said he was very unhappy about the decision.
He said: "Bingham is a little place and it does not need massive chains coming in. I opened my cafe seven years ago and I was the first little cafe here. Since then a few more have opened and they are all independents.
"It works well as it is. But now Costa is coming I am worried about business. It is a bad move."
However, butcher Clive Lancaster who has worked in his shop in Eaton Place for 30 years, said he thought competition was a good thing.
He said: "I think that having a Costa will improve and uplift Eaton Place. The unit has been empty for getting on for two years now and it looks untidy with the shutters down.
"It will bring Bingham in line with bigger towns and will make us look better.
"The other businesses will just have to up their game and keep bringing their customers in."
He added: "People will still be able to decide where they want to spend their money.
"In my mind, places like the Picture Cafe have a more relaxed atmosphere where you can sit and read for example, whereas Costa is more of a takeaway where you would pop in and out."
Maureen Stockwood, chair of the development control committee at Rushcliffe Borough Council and also a Bingham Town Councillor, said all the residents' and business owners' concerns were listened to.
The decision was taken by the borough's development control committee by a majority of 14 to one.
Permission was granted on condition that opening hours were kept to between 7am and 6pm on weekdays, from 8am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 4pm on Sundays.
Councillor Stockwood said: "I took all the points to the meeting, but the members of the committee felt that a coffee culture is prevalent now. Times have changed.
"Bingham has a wonderful market place and hopefully a new coffee shop will encourage people to spend more time relaxing there.
"We listened to both sides and then make a decision."
Coffee Lovers Limited, the potential occupant of the unit, will run the site as a franchise of Costa Coffee.
A spokesman for Costa Coffee said the firm was looking forward to opening a store in Bingham, but could not comment further.
The firm does not have a planned opening date.