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Coffee giant wins backing of council for first outlet in Melksham
1:00pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in Melksham
Melksham has moved a step closer to getting its first national coffee chain, after an application by Costa Coffee was approved.
The application by Bristol-based franchise South West Coffee to open a Costa in High Street, on the site of the former Clinton Cards and Fotostop, was unanimously backed by Melksham Town Council’s planning committee on Monday.
Paul Williams, the applicant’s agent, was at the meeting and said: “Coffee shops attract people to the town centres and help increase dwelling time. People will shop, then go for a coffee and do more shopping.”
He confirmed the shop would open from 7am to at least 6pm in the week and would also open on Sundays.
Several business owners spoke against the application and a petition opposing it was presented to the committee.
Trevor Brine, who owns Ashers cafe opposite the proposed site, said: “I think there are too many coffee shops here now.
“I can see two or three of us biting the dirt. I don’t think this Costa application is the right move for Melksham.”
Pauline Baker, of Market Place, who works in the town’s Tourist Information Centre, welcomed the move.
She said: “Personally, I am quite happy to see a Costa Coffee come here.
“I find it very embarrassing when visitors come to the town of an evening, asking for a coffee, and they have to go to a pub.”
Jamie Nicholls, who runs the Old Bakery, disagreed, claiming there was no demand during evenings.
He said: “When I first took over my business, five years ago, we opened at 7.30pm in the morning and I have opened later in the evening and opened on a Sunday as well. When we open the shop and take £20 or £30 for the day, you think, why bother?”
The committee all voted to approve the application, which will now go before Wiltshire Council for a final decision.
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