Councillor left ‘angry’ and ‘astounded’ at Starbucks drive-thru decision


Last updated Jul 16, 2021
The former 1st Dental site on Wetherby Road, which has been proposed to be demolished for a Starbucks drive-thru.
The former 1st Dental site on Wetherby Road, which has been approved to be demolished for a Starbucks drive-thru

A Harrogate councillor who fought against a plan for a Starbucks drive-thru on Wetherby Road says she has been left “angry” and “astounded” after it was approved.

The government gave the go-ahead for the development on the former 1st Dental Surgery site after an appeal hearing was held in June.

Euro Garages, the developer behind the plan, took Harrogate Borough Council to appeal. But the council later withdrew its objection and residents were left to oppose the application by themselves.

Cllr Pat Marsh, who represents the area of the site, led residents in the fight against the proposal.

She said she had been left angry at the decision and warned that residents lives would be affected as a result.

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Cllr Marsh added that the development would have an adverse impact on the entire Harrogate area, not just on Wetherby Road.

She said:

“Many people throughout Harrogate will be outraged by this. It is not an appropriate place to put a drive-thru.

“I cannot understand how they have come to this decision. I felt all our arguments had great strength to them.

“The residents could not have done better to put forward their arguments.”

The layout of the proposed Starbucks on Wetherby Road

The layout of the proposed Starbucks on Wetherby Road

Despite multiple residents speaking against the development, planning inspector Helen Hockenhull said she was not persuaded that the site would cause “significant harm”

She said in a decision notice published yesterday:

“I recognise that my findings will be disappointing to the local residents and ward councillor who gave evidence at the hearing.

“However, based on the technical evidence before me and all that I have seen and heard, with the proposed mitigation measures secured by planning conditions, I am not persuaded that the development would cause significant harm.”

Ms Hockenhull also awarded costs for the proceedings of the appeal against the borough council.

The decision to approve the development comes after almost a decade of planning applications from Euro Garages.

The approval means the former dental surgery will be demolished to make way for a drive-thru coffee shop with 19 car parking spaces. This would then be handed over to Starbucks to operate.

A spokesperson for Euro Garages said:

“We are delighted to have received planning permission and we are very pleased with the inspector’s decision.

“This development will help to create up to 20 local jobs for the area.”

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