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New Forest District Council turns down plan for Costa Coffee drive-through at Totton Retail Park due to concerns over congestion and litter

PLANS for a new drive-through coffee shop at a Totton retail park have been refused by New Forest District Council.

London Metric Property applied to convert existing units at Totton Retail Park on Commercial Road to accommodate Costa Coffee.

The council’s planning committee, which discussed the application on Wednesday, heard that while retailer Argos would remain at the site, pet shop Jollyes would be replaced by the coffee company.

The drive through coffee shop had been proposed for Totton Retail Park
The drive through coffee shop had been proposed for Totton Retail Park

In addition to the drive-through lane and counter, seating would have also been provided inside the unit for customers.

Around 20 jobs would be created, the meeting heard.

The application received 10 letters of objection from residents, who raised concerns over the impact on highway safety, increased congestion, noise disturbance, dust and fumes, loss of trees and fears of antisocial behaviour.

Totton and Eling Town Council also objected to the plans and said that while the creation of additional jobs would be a positive for the town, there was already an established Costa Coffee in “very close proximity”.

It added: “Whilst it is appreciated this is an existing retail park, this isn't an ideal setting for a drive thru.

“This proposed addition would be over-intensification of the site.”

Despite a report to the the planning committee recommending the scheme be given the green light, members voted against the proposal.

Cllr Joe Reilly raised a concern over the increased traffic congestion and said: “It will be chaos, I do not support it.”

Cllr David Hawkins called it “the silliest application I’ve ever come across” and added: “It isn’t going to work, they need to go back to the drawing board.”

Cllr John Sleep, who volunteers for litter picking group Team Totton, said he feared proposed long opening hours would see an increase in rubbish and added: “It’s going to be a nightmare.”

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