Community 'hurt' by plans for new Starbucks in Northampton supermarket car park

Plans for a new Starbucks at the Kettering Road Morrisons have run up against objections.
Plans for a new Starbucks at the Kettering Road Morrisons have run up against objections.

Planning board councillors will decide whether to grant permission to a new Starbucks drive-thru in a Northampton supermarket car park next week.

But the application by Morrisons for land around its Kettering Road store, has run up against a number of objections.

If approved by councillors on Tuesday, March 19, the coffee shop would create 30 jobs and sit alongside the McDonald's drive-thru that has already been given the go-ahead.

However, cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Mike Hallam says residents are worried about the amount of traffic both outlets would create together.

A paper set to go before the planning board councillors next week outlines his objection.

It reads: "The application comes swiftly on the heels of an approved application for a McDonald’s on the same site. In that application, the highways report was very clear that the McDonald’s would lead to an increase in traffic at a section of Kettering Road that is already frequently overcapacity.

"The community will feel angry and hurt by an application that, surely out of decency, should have been put in at the same time as the McDonald’s one.

"This section of the Kettering Road simply does not have the capacity for the additional traffic that this will create."

Eight letters of objection have also been received by members of the public outlining, in some cases, how Kettering Road is already congested frequently and well-served by fast food outlets.

Town planners England Lyle Good, who are paid by Morrisons, have submitted reasons why the Starbucks is a good idea:

"The proposals will facilitate the redevelopment of an underutilised area of the existing Morrisons car park," the planning papers read.

"The proposals will provide enhanced local facilities for local residents, shoppers and motorists on Kettering Road.

"The economic benefits associated with the proposals should be afforded significant weight in the assessment of the proposals."

The new drive-thru would see Morrisons shoppers lose 36 parking spaces, although 14 more would be provided at Starbucks.

A traffic assessment paid for by Morrrisons concludes that Starbucks customers will not add significantly to congestion on Kettering Road. This mainly because it claims many Starbucks customers will be supermarket shoppers already using the site.

The application says: "It has been demonstrated that only 6 two-way trips during the Friday evening peak hour and 19 trips during the Saturday peak hour will be new to the network.

"This equates to one vehicle every 10 minutes on Friday and one vehicle every three minutes on Saturday, which will not have a material impact on the operation of the local highway network."