Plans for Costa drive-thru at Minster likely to be given the green light

Costa Coffee Image gdmarchitects via Thanet council planning portal

Planning committee members at Thanet council are likely to approve plans for a Costa drive-thru in Minster if officer recommendations are followed.

An application has been made for a Costa coffee shop with drive-through in Minster – alongside the current McDonald’s site.

The proposal is for a single storey outlet with 31 car-parking spaces, including two disabled spaces and a drive-through lane on current scrub land off Laundry Road.

The site is accessed from the A299 – Hengist Way trunk road via Tothill Street – and Laundry Road.

In its application Costa says investment for such outlets is typically £1 million plus with five figure sums annually paid in business rates.

The completed Costa is expected to employ around 18 full and part-time staff (or 11 full time).

Image gdmarchitects via Thanet council planning portal

A report to councillors who will discuss the application next Wednesday (December 18) says although there is “is no evidential ‘need’ for additional facilities,” there would be economic and social benefits for the village through the provision of a facility that provides jobs, a meeting place for the community, and an additional local service that helps to support the sustainability of the village.

The report adds: “The impact upon neighbouring living conditions has been assessed, and mitigation put in place to limit any impact to an acceptable level. Subject to off-site improvements to improve the junction on Tothill Street and Laundry Road, along with the necessary parking provision and visibility splays, the impact upon highway safety is considered to be acceptable.

The proposed site outlined in red

“On balance, whilst there is not a retail need for the development in this location there will be very limited impact upon the countryside.”

Concerns were raised about residents suffering extra noise and disturbance. The report says a noise assessment was submitted with the application, which considers the impact from fixed mechanical plant, car-parking, and noise from the use of the drive-thru facility.

The report concluded the noise levels identified are likely to be predominantly less than the pre-existing background noise levels, and therefore the proposed development would not cause significant adverse noise impact on neighbouring occupiers.

Plans for the development were initially shown at a public exhibition at Minster Library in 2017. The exhibition was staffed by representatives from applicant Decimus Property (Minster) Ltd, Costa Coffee, GDM Architects and DHA Planning. The proposal presented at the exhibition was for the Costa Coffee outlet and drive through and a farm shop. Plans for the farm outlet have since been dropped.

Proposed opening hours will be 5am to 11pm.

Councillors discuss the application at Thanet council’s offices on December 18 from 7pm.

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