Developers set to appeal to Government over controversial Colburn drive-thru plans

The site of the proposed Starbucks drive thru.

Controversial plans for a Starbucks drive-thru coffee shop in Colburn look set to be referred to the Government.

A decision on the scheme opposite the Broadway was deferred at the September district council planning meeting to enable officers to discuss potential changes to the proposals.

They wanted to address councillors’ concerns such as the amount of public space, traffic, pollution and the impact on surrounding properties.

However, the agent for the applicant has told officers the landowner does not feel able to make any changes.

Instead, they have instructed the agent to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the non-determination of the application by the council.

This means the final decision would be taken out of the council hands and they could only give a ‘minded to’ decision to guide the planning inspector.

Councillors will be asked for this ‘minded’ decision at a meeting next Tuesday.

In their report, council officers say the development opposite should be passed as it will contribute to the local economy and provide additional employment.

The report to councillors concludes that the previously granted outline planning approval envisaged the creation of a “market square” on the land.

The report adds: “Whilst the application site is smaller than that shown on the indicative site plan included in the outline permission, this application still propose a retail development with pedestrian links to The Broadway on the opposite side of Catterick Road, on a piece of land that has remained unused and overgrown for
some time. The proposed use would contribute to the local economy and provide full time employment.”

At the last meeting, the authority’s leader and Colburn resident Angie Dale said locals had been “sold down the river” over the scheme.

The authority has previously approved plans to create a range of shops and market square at the site but developers lodged an alternative scheme to create a Starbucks drive-thru cafe and car park on the location instead.

Councillor Angie Dale told the last lanning committee meeting that while the proposal would create 35 jobs, residents were being “sold down the river” as the original plan for the site should have created 135 jobs.

The meeting heard residents were divided over the proposals, with some stating the scheme would bolster the area’s regeneration and be welcomed by people who did not wish to drive to Catterick Garrison to buy a cup of coffee.