Residents fighting a plan for a drive-thru Starbucks on Wetherby Road have called for expert help ahead of an appeal hearing.
Harrogate Borough Council decided to drop its objection earlier this week, warning the cost of the hearing could be £50,000.
Euro Garages, the retail firm behind the proposal, is taking the council to appeal over a decision tor refuse the plan for a drive-thru coffee shop on the former 1st Dental Surgery site.
Residents have decided to defend the council’s refusal themselves at the inquiry on June 15.
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After a meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Pat Marsh, who represents the area, called for support from experts for residents to help with their case.
“As the council will not defend the council planning committee’s original decision it is now up to local residents and myself to attend the appeal to defend the council’s decision and make the case on why this is the wrong site for a drive-thru coffee shop.
“The council said it could not find any experts to defend the refusal but I am sure that there must be experts out there who would be able to help and guide the residents in this very important case.
“If anyone can and will help, please do contact [email protected]. The residents would also like help and support from their local MP Andrew Jones.”
Euro Garages has spent almost a decade trying to win permission to open the coffee shop on Wetherby Road, Harrogate but has been refused three times by councillors and once by a government inspector.
Earlier this week, 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 and that losing also risked legal costs of more than £50,000.
After the meeting, 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”.