Ipswich coffee shop questions planning approval after second Costa approved 200 metres from existing store

The owners of Kings Coffee House, Andy King and Deborah King have raised concerns over how Costa wer

The owners of Kings Coffee House, Andy King and Deborah King have raised concerns over how Costa were allowed to build a second store just 200m from an existing one at Ransomes Europark. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The owner of an independent coffee shop in Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, has questioned how planning permission was allowed to be given for Costa to build a new store just 200 metres from an existing one.

Work has begun on building a new Costa opposite the B&Q at Ransomes Retail Park.
Picture: SARAH LUC

Work has begun on building a new Costa opposite the B&Q at Ransomes Retail Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In October planning permission was approved for Costa to build a new drive-through coffee shop at The Sandlings retail park in Ransomes Europark.

But the popular coffee chain already has an existing shop directly opposite in Futura Park – a mere 200m from where its new shop is being built. The shop will be Costa’s eighth store in Ipswich.

Now, the owner of the nearby Kings Coffee House in West Road behind The Sandlings, has questioned how it was allowed to happen.

“I am very concerned about the double presence of Costa and wonder how planning was approved,” said Andy King, owner of Kings Coffee House.

Kings Coffee House. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Kings Coffee House. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

“It will put pressure on us and the future running of our shop is unsure. It will almost certainly have an effect.

“I know they [Ipswich Borough Council] are trying to fill space and make Ipswich more attractive but Costa don’t do the things we do.

“We are one unit and six people – if my rent goes up by £100 a month it hurts, so I don’t know what is going to happen. Surely people have the choice with the Costa over the road already?”

The 48-year-old compared the situation to that of Greggs, which opened two new stores in Ipswich in the last year just a handful of metres from existing bakeries, although planning permission was not needed by Greggs to occupy either store.

Costa, opposite John Lewis in Futura Park, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Costa, opposite John Lewis in Futura Park, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Mr King said he had not been made aware of the proposal until work had started, meaning he couldn’t object to the proposals during the planning stage.

“It would have been handy if they let the businesses know.

“I think we are holding our own but I think it is slightly ridiculous that 200m away is another one – it’s just madness,” he added.

“The independent traders can’t cope or compete with the deep pockets of the nationals surely IBC understand this?”

The owners of Kings Coffee House, Andy King and Deborah King have raised concerns over how Costa wer

The owners of Kings Coffee House, Andy King and Deborah King have raised concerns over how Costa were allowed to build a second store just 200m from an existing one at Ransomes Europark. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said consideration of competition and proximity to other similar businesses was not a part of planning policy, and was not a factor in whether to grant approval.