OVERWHELMING objections to a new chain coffee shop in Warwick have not stopped the council from pushing ahead with the plans.
Warwick District Council received some 60 objections against plans to turn The Antique Centre on the corner of High Street and Swan Street into a coffee shop.
There was also a petition started which called for ‘no more chain coffee shops’ in the town – receiving more than 300 signatures in a matter of days.
But the council’s planning committee this week approved the planning application, which will now see Coffee#1 – which has branches across the UK – take over the premises, which has been home to the Antiques Centre for 44 years. The Antiques Centre will move just a few doors down the road to Jury Street where they will open later this year.
Coffee#1 – which will create six new jobs in Warwick – will join other chain outlets including Cafe Nero and Costa, and a number of independents.
Residents argue two other chain coffee shops in the town centre is enough.
Karen Rutherford, owner of Cafe Scoopz on New Street, said the increase in big name coffee shops could push independents out of business.
She said: “The independent and unique tea, coffee and ice cream shops are already suffering from the ever increasing number of similar businesses being opened and we are all vying for an ever decreasing pool of consumers.
“If this continues, independents will close and Warwick will become a ghost town of major proportion.”
And objecting to the plans, Catherine Cook, said: “Warwick is swamped with coffee shops already, especially chain ones as opposed to independent retailers.
“Warwick doesn’t need this, the visitors don’t need this, there’s an abundance of places for them to get coffees already. The people of Warwick don’t want it.”
Councillors said the shop would not have an impact on current parking arrangements or on nearby residents and opted to approve the plans.