Road safety concerns set to scupper Starbucks drive-thru plans

The site of the proposed Starbucks drive-thru. Photo: Google.

Revised plans for a Starbucks drive-thru in Colburn look set to be scuppered due to concerns over road safety.

Developers 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.

However. council officers are recommending the application is refused when councillors meet next Tuesday.

Their recommendation was made after county council highways officers said the revised plans were similar to the original plans which have already been rejected.

The officers said site access was too close to the junction for Woodland Avenue, the lorry park and nearby social club.

Other concerns were raised about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

The district council report concluded: “Based on the current standards of the Highway Authority, the proposed development would give rise to a severe impact on highway safety for motorists,
cyclists and pedestrians.”

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.

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 inspector’s 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.

1 Comment

  1. I’d really like to see a Starbucks in our area but was never sure this was the right location or whether a drive through was the best idea. There are plenty of boarded up retail premises and it would be great if one of these could become a Starbucks outlet. I’m unaware of any between Harrogate and Bishop Auckland; the Darlington outlet disappeared some time ago.

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