Costa drive-thru near Ipswich garage plans dismissed on appeal
- Credit: Archant
Plans for a drive-thru Costa on a busy Ipswich road have been dismissed on appeal following an inspection by a planning inspector.
An inspection upheld the original decision to refuse permission for Petrogas Group Ltd to replace the car wash at Applegreen petrol station in Woodbridge Road East with a drive-thru Costa Coffee, dismissing the Petrogas appeal.
Two main issues were raised: the safety of garage users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, and the effect on the living conditions of neighbouring residents.
The plans were originally lodged in December 2019 but were withdrawn ahead of a revised application submitted in September 2020.
Ipswich councillors refused the changed plans in December 2020.
But Petrogas argued the proposal would redevelop previously developed land, make the petrol station more viable and create new jobs in the area.
In a report for Ipswich Borough Council explaining the reasons for the dismissal, the inspector noted that pedestrians leaving the Costa from the west would have "no safe designated route" and so were likely to cut across the forecourt in front of cars.
Despite Petrogas's view that access to the Costa would be similar to the current access to the car wash, the inspector pointed out that pedestrians and cyclists are unlikely to approach the car wash - but would be likely to use the coffee shop.
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The report states: "Overall, the proposed layout would be poor.
"Although the facility would be car orientated the vehicular circulation arrangements would lead to potential conflict between motorists and this, combined with inadequate circulation arrangements for cyclists and pedestrians, would be likely to bring different users into conflict with each other, leading to a public safety hazard.
"In addition, the provision of outside seating in locations that were close to traffic would make them unpleasant and unhealthy places to sit."
Concerns about noise levels for neighbours and increased congestion along a busy route that serves the hospital were also addressed by the inspector, who concluded the appeal should be dismissed.
There are currently eight Costa stores in Ipswich, with 25 other locations listed on the coffee chain's website to pick up Costa Express concessions.