Traders' fears over Costa Coffee shop plan for High Street

Published on: 02 Oct 2012

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Keynsham traders' fears over Costa Coffee shop plan for High Street

Lynda Gregg and Marie Spill at Cafe CremeTwo cafe owners in Keynsham can now only wait to see if a company gets the go-ahead to transform the former Clinton Cards store on Keynsham’s High Street into a Costa Coffee shop.

Marie Spill and Lynda Gregg opened Cafe Creme two years ago and say they fear for their business if the chain’s application for a change of use at the premises is approved.

Lynda said: “We are a small business and this is our livelihood – the big chains can survive. Keynsham doesn’t need another coffee shop. We need shops to bring back youngsters, high street shops. They should ask the people of Keynsham what they want.”

The cafe, which also employs eight part-time staff, opened just six months before Coffee#1 arrived in the town, which Lynda said did affect their trade for a few months.

Public consultation on the plans by South West Coffee closed on October 1, with dozens of people registering their objections with B&NES Council.

Echoing Lynda’s concerns, one said: “I oppose the opening of this Costa as it’s just another example of the difficulties that small, local businesses have to face at a time of economic uncertainty. The last thing Keynsham needs is another coffee shop.”

The application by South West Coffee, however, points to surveys that show the high footfall in coffee shops compared to other kind of outlets, and research that says coffee shops attract people to high streets.

If approved, the Costa Coffee shop would open daily from 7am to 8pm. The application will now be considered by planners at B&NES who have set a target date for a decision for this month.

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