Archaeological and biodiversity concerns raised over new Costa Coffee on Ramsgate ‘grassland’

The Costa Coffee proposed site (red cross)

A planning application for another Costa Coffee site in Thanet at land off Canterbury Road East at Ramsgate could impact on archaeological remains and biodiversity, according to Historic England and Kent County Council’s Ecological Advice Service.

The proposal is for a Costa Coffee and a 2,000sqft drive thru unit with parking to be constructed across the entire site just off the Lord of the Manor roundabout. It would be the firm’s seventh Thanet outlet.

The plot is currently grassland and hedgerows and is also within the area of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery scheduled monument.

This is a burial ground dated to the 6th and 7th centuries. It was discovered during construction of the adjacent railway, and partial excavations have taken place during the 1840s, and in 1966, 1977 and 1980-2. Burials have been found that are cut into the underlying chalk, infilled with similar material, and in many cases capped with sandstone slabs.

The burials contained grave goods including metal weapons and other valuable items. The scheduled monument also contains a ring ditch, which indicates the presence of a Bronze Age barrow. Similar remains, including burials, cremations, stone foundations and ring ditches, have been identified adjacent to the proposed development area and may be of equivalent significance to the scheduled monument. Remains of Roman settlement activity has also been found nearby and may be present within the monument.

Historic England says the application has insufficient information and either more should be provided or it should be refused.

The Costa application says: “Archaeological work to the south of the site at Haven Farm uncovered evidence of intensive occupation during the Roman period and established the presence of a medieval stone quarry. Part of the site is occupied by glass houses while the rest is either Tarmacadam or has been re-surfaced for the nursery’s purposes. As a result, any archaeological features which may have been present on the proposed site may have survived below the modern surfaces.

“It remains, however, to be established if any such remains do in fact still survive. (The) majority of the findings were recorded outside the application site with some findings to the north and east of the site. The proposal has taken the points recorded within the archaeology report into consideration and so a large area of the existing site has been retained against the north and east boundaries for landscaping and archaeological purposes.”

Kent County Council’s biodiversity response also suggests more detail is needed as the site, saying there could be ecological value and “the potential for protected species presence that must be taken account of in the planning decision. As such, a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) must be undertaken by a suitably qualified ecologist.”

An ecological survey was submitted by Betts a day after the biodiversity response and this recommends more work before any development is considered feasible.

The report says: “From observations of this walk-over examination, is further work likely to be needed regarding notable/protected species, habitats, planning policy, biodiversity duty or related regulatory compliance.”

The site was found to be habitat for birds including the Linnet and possibly reptiles and dormice.

Costa want to construct an 1800 sqft  facility with internal seating area, customer toilets, separate kitchen space and a dedicated drive-through hatch.

The application says there will be a total of 48 parking spaces, including 2 electric charging spaces next to the entrance, and 2 disabled parking spaces next to the drive-through.

There will also be a waiting bay at the exit of the drive-through. The filling station will have a total of 39 spaces including 3 disabled spaces. This puts the site parking to 87 in total.

An entrance to the site would be on Canterbury Road East. The Costa application says the site would provide around 15
part-time and 20 full-time jobs.

A decision is yet to be made on the application which can be viewed on Thanet council’s planning page, reference F/TH/21/0043

28 Comments

  1. Are they having a laugh? One is literally opening up at the junction with Minster? This is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Completely agree. Lord of the manor is hectic enough as it is, this is literally the last thing needed, especially there…

  2. Why not get them to resite their proposal at the new station carpark? Surely it would be more use there.

  3. Archaeological remains and biodiversity, nothing new just allow their boffins on the site to do what they want. With no cost to the development.

    Handy place to park and have a welfare break!
    Oh and there are new rumours about the closed airport, plane spotters can enjoy a coffee at same time.

  4. Can’t really see a need for ANOTHER Costa Coffee. Already have drive-through at Westwood (less than 10 minutes away) and soon-to-open one at Minster (probably 3 minutes’ drive away). As well as all the others in town centres. Getting a bit ridiculous now!

  5. when I was on that site I was never allowed to do anything and it is a very awkward place to get into and out of. Scrap the plans for this and put it at the new station site or the airport.

  6. its becoming an obsession in thanet for rip off coffee shops , and as for a drive through , please explain how a person can drive a car safely while drinking and holding a scalding hot cup of coffee ? i see enough of it in the mornings when they leave the filling stations – high time it was made an offence.

  7. Costa lotta for absolute rubbish .
    May be the “ travellers” could graciously live there – the site would be cleared of any artefacts and there would defiantly be more biodiversity .

  8. Simple question; do we need another coffee shop?
    I know that Costa wants us to want another coffee shop. But did any of us wake up today thinking “Next time I drive through the Double Doughnut, I would love it if there was a Costa Coffee right there so I could stop and buy one before I get all the way (!) to Minster or Westwood and buy another!
    Thinking about archaeological remains, I can picture distant future digs at that site. Eager young diggers shout out that they have found something interesting. All the rest drop their tools and gather round. Then, an older, wiser hand takes another look and says “Sorry, guys, it’s just another Costa Coffee !” And they all turn back, and carry on digging further away, disappointment on all their faces.

    • Or even better, a Tim Horton’s food and coffee shop!
      But do we really need another Costa in Thanet? no forward thinking at all. It’s like having the same pound shop in every town, boring!!

  9. Can’t you all see the bigger picture? Railway station in middle of nowhere but near an airport ,coffee shops opening up close to an airport , there will be more soon to follow so that tells me there are big things planned for the future of manston so sorry to all you tree huggers and lefty snowflakes I’m afraid you have got to move on and expect that what will be will be for the good . Onwards and upwards !!!

  10. A freight airport won’t have much calling for drive through coffee outlet… unless they accept HGV’s…. on the other hand multiple housing estates with thousands of people joining the daily gridlock will have….!

  11. So let me get this straight …
    The DCO has been quashed.
    The CAA has knocked back the application for airspace.
    But there’s a Costa coffee opening up down the road, so that means the airport’s back on the cards again? Priceless.

  12. With all those graves the place has got to be haunted! Manston re-opening is a dead duck, no chance now as better locations in the midlands, or elsewhere are available, begging for freight carriers!

  13. If we keep putting extreme capitalists in seats of power then this is nothing new.
    Manston will be housing….

  14. Why not use the Lord of the Manor, this could be converted it has loads of land if an extra Coffee is needed. As to another Coffee shop NO thank you.

  15. Please could you tell me when the deadline is for objections to be received against this application? This is a totally inappropriate and ill-thought-out application for yet another coffee shop on Thanet: this time it is especially wrong because it is on the site of a Scheduled Monument comprising Bronze Age burials and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, in a landscape surrounded by more examples of such features. Proper investigation of features on the site has not been carried out and Historic England has already objected to it on heritage grounds. It would be a travesty if it were allowed to go ahead.

  16. I see the usual whingers using an ill thought out coffee shop as an excuse to bore us all with their anti airport diatribes. For heaven’s sake children give it a rest, this Starbucks is not there for any airport traffic but those of you going to and from work each day along with all the new houses being built on adjacent lands. (Pallo’s etc). Repetitive, senseless and incorrect assumptions as always.

  17. Traffic wise, this can’t happen. Very dodgy spot, just where two lanes merge into one. People will crash because of it, defo. And Costa is rubbish anyway.

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