Work begins on new Costa at Ransomes in Ipswich just 200 metres from existing store
Questions have been raised over the support for small coffee shops after construction work on a new Costa – Ipswich’s eighth – gets underway just 200 metres from an existing Costa store.
Planning permission was granted in October for a new drive-through Costa at The Sandlings retail park off Ransomes Way, near the Pizza Hut and Burger King stores, despite it only being around 200m away from the Costa in Futura Park directly opposite.
Work began this month on the new unit, which is the eighth Costa in town including one at Ipswich Hospital.
Now, the owner of an independent coffee shop in Ipswich town centre has expressed her disappointment, and says more should be done to support small independents which provide much needed choice.
“I think it’s really sad,” said Jane Cooper, owner of Pickwicks in Dial Lane.
“There is so much choice out there and by allowing more and more chains they forget the small independents.
“We run our shop because it’s our passion and we love it – we have coffees from all around the world, but it is getting harder and harder and all that will be lost.”
The 51-year-old said that since Cosy Club had moved into the Buttermarket nearby its takings have taken a hit.
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“We have a really loyal clientele – probably around 70% come in regularly, and they say they wouldn’t go to Costa,” she added.
“But it’s that small crossover that if we were more in the public eye and had less of the big guys to go up against we would have a greater chance.”
Mrs Cooper has urged planners to take these factors into consideration when approving a new store, and believes that allowing more out of town developments is driving footfall away from the town centre.
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 planning permission.
The completion date and planned opening of the new Costa have not yet been announced.
A spokesman for the chain was unavailable for comment.
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