Big coffee chain eyes Yorkshire market town site

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A plan to bring a large commercial coffee chain to a North Yorkshire market town looks set to be approved, despite a swell of objections from residents.

Easingwold currently has no branded coffee shops and Hambleton District Council has formally received 122 objections and seven comments in support of the proposal to open a Costa outlet in the Market Place.

Planning officers have recommended that the scheme is given the go-ahead subject to conditions, including that the development begins within three years of the scheme’s approval.

Permission is being sought by the coffee chain to convert the town’s former HSBC bank. According to planning documents, the proposal includes a £400,000 upgrade of the building. The coffee shop would be open seven days a week, including on bank holidays, and deliveries would be every second day. It would create at least 18 jobs and all staff would be hired locally, according to the firm.

The building is located in the Easingwold Conservation Area but there would be “very little” change to the external appearance of the building, a report by the district council’s planning officer Charlotte Cornforth states.

Nevertheless, some residents have objected over concerns that a global chain’s outlet will change the rural nature of the Georgian market town, that it will create extra traffic and there will be “unfair” competition for business with local independent cafes.

The plans are due to be considered by members of the council’s planning committee on Thursday.

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