More opposition to Costa Coffee plans for town centre
OPPOSITION to plans for a new Costa Coffee shop in Bingham is growing.
More than 1,400 people have signed a petition against the plan for Eton Place in little over a week since the coffee chain applied to Rushcliffe Borough Council for planning permission.
Petition organisers expect to receive even more signatures before the consultation deadline on November 29.
Bingham East borough councillor George Davidson said he was fully behind the protests.
He said: "I'm concerned about the growth of these large chains.
"There are some great independent retailers who will suffer."
He added: "I did want to see a new tenancy placed where the gap is in the precinct, but certainly not another multinational coffee chain."
Costa wants to open the new café, including outside seating, in Eton Place. Three full-time and five part-time jobs would be created.
Julia Williams, who runs the nearby Picture Café coffee house, started the petition.
She said: "I know a local fish and chip shop hoped to open a new restaurant in the space and there was also an offer for a new deli. I'd have much rather have seen those in place instead of a Costa Coffee. Inevitably, us smaller stores will suffer."
The building, most recently an Oddbins off-licence, has been empty for two years. It has retail planning consent but has never been used as a cafe.
Costa wants to change its use from A1 retail space to an A3 space, which allows for a café or restaurant.
Councillor Francis Purdue-Horan, who represents Bingham on Rushcliffe Borough Council, said: "We want to have a vibrant diverse town centre. I am personally not fussed if it's granted a local or national rental space but I want the right commercial activity in the town."
He added: "I don't want Bingham to be the Rushcliffe coffee capital."
The council says it is consulting on the plans until November 29, with a view to a decision being made in December.
A Costa Coffee spokesman previously told the Post: "We honestly do not think that anyone should see Costa as a threat to independent businesses.
"Our offering is very different to local independent coffee shops and we believe that people can and will use both, depending on their needs."