The government has approved a controversial Starbucks drive-thru on Wetherby Road in Harrogate.
Planning inspector Helen Hockenhull gave the go-ahead for the development after an appeal by the developer Euro Garages Ltd.
The move comes despite fierce opposition from local residents, who warned that traffic on the road was already at “breaking point” and that such a development would adversely affect those who live next door.
Residents were forced to defend Harrogate Borough Council’s own reasons for refusal at the appeal hearing in June after the authority withdrew its objection.
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Among the concerns were highways safety, air quality and living conditions for those in neighbouring properties.
But Ms Hockenhull said in a decision notice that was published today:
“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.”
Retail firm Euro Garages has spent almost a decade trying to win permission to open the coffee shop at the former 1st Dental surgery on Wetherby Road, Harrogate, but has been refused three times by councillors and once by a government inspector.
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.
The Stray Ferret has approached Euro Garages for comment.