Harrogate councillor ‘confident’ ahead of Wetherby Road Starbucks appeal


Last updated Jun 7, 2021
The former 1st Dental surgery site on Wetherby Road, which is earmarked for a Starbucks.

A Harrogate councillor has said she is confident in defending a decision to refuse plans for a controversial Starbucks drive-thru on Wetherby Road.

Cllr Pat Marsh, a Liberal Democrat who represents the area, is set fight the proposals with local residents at an appeal hearing next week.

It comes as Harrogate Borough Council rejected plans for the former 1st Dental surgery site three times.

But the authority has dropped its objection to the latest plans by Euro Garages for the site.

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It has left local residents to fight the proposals themselves before a planning inspector at an online appeal hearing on June 15.

Cllr Marsh, who will lead the residents’ defence next week, said she felt there were enough reasons to turn the application down.

She said:

“I think there are very sound planning reasons to turn it down and I’m confident we have come up with enough of them.

“Residents are not against the development of the site. But this is too much.”

Cllr Marsh previously described the proposal as another example of “big companies pushing for planning applications” to be put through.

Euro Garages, which also operates drive-thru facilities for KFC and Greggs, did not wish to comment ahead of the hearing.

‘It would change our lives’

Residents who live next to the 1st Dental site told the Stray Ferret previously that the Starbucks would adversely affect their lives.

David Stephenson, who has lived on Coachman’s Court with his wife for six years, is among those fighting the proposal.

Mr Stephenson’s house is next door the proposed site and he would be able to see the serving hatch of the Starbucks from his lounge window.

David Stephenson, whose house on Coachmans Court is next to the proposed Starbucks site on Wetherby Road.

David Stephenson, whose house on Coachmans Court is next to the proposed Starbucks site on Wetherby Road.

Mr Stephenson said:

“I think it is going to change our lives.

“We live in a nice, quiet cul-de-sac and this is not what we wanted in our retirement.”

Meanwhile, Joanne Richardson, who also lives on Coachman’s Court, said she “could not believe” the council would not be defending its refusal.

Last month, John Worthington, the council’s executive officer for development management, said officers could not stand successfully at appeal because their previous recommendation would “undermine” their case”.

He added that losing also risked legal costs of over £50,000.

A council spokesman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that not contesting the appeal “hasn’t been an easy decision to make” but was “the best way forward in this instance”.

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