It’s a Cappucci-NO! Starbucks lose planning appeal bid to open branch in Kentish Town
Plan for franchise branch refused by planning inspector to protect number of retail units
02 February, 2017 — By Richard Osley
A Starbucks franchise store was set to open in the old Best One shop
STARBUCKS has been frustrated yet again in its attempt to conquer Kentish Town after a planning inspector ruled the council did not act unfairly when it blocked the opening of a new branch in the high road.
The Town Hall’s planning department has stuck to its position that the proposed conversion of the former Best One convenience store into a coffee shop would harm attempts to protect the number of retail units along the main drag in NW5. With plans for a franchise branch, Starbucks was looking to end three years of speculation about its ambitions for an outlet in Kentish Town by opening up in the prime unit close to the underground station.
But the application, filed at the start of last year, triggered objections from residents and businesses, who warned that the area was becoming saturated with familiar chain operators and places to buy coffee.
The shop would have been close to Costa and Pret A Manger branches.
Starbucks had argued it would bring a closed-down shop back to life and that its presence would help high street trade rather than harm it.
Camden, however, threw out the proposals, leading to an appeal and review by government-appointed planning inspector Beverley Wilders, who confirmed the refusal of planning permission yesterday (Wednesday).
She said: “I do not consider the benefits of the proposal would outweigh the harm to the town centre likely to result from the loss of the retail premises.”
Kentish Town ward councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells had warned that, if planning rules on the use of shop units were broken, there would be a risk of a “failing high street full of coffee shop chains, estate agents and betting shops, as has happened in so many parts of London and in the rest of the UK”.
Kelly Street Residents’ Association, representing people living in the side-street loved for its colourful row of houses, said: “There are more than enough coffee shops already in Kentish Town.”