Chorley drive-through Starbucks plan rejected
Plans for a drive-through coffee outlet on one of the main routes in and out of Chorley have been rejected after councillors balked at the traffic problems it could cause.
The company owned by the Blackburn-based brothers who recently bought Asda was behind the pitch to build a 24-hour Starbucks facility on the A6 Preston Road.
Moshin and Zuber Issa’s EG Group specialises in petrol station forecourts and roadside eateries and had applied for permission to redevelop a plot of land on the outbound side of the busy route.
The site has lain derelict for well over a decade and was previously home to a Kwik Save store, although its most recent use was as a petrol station.
However, Chorley Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the proposal after learning that the exit from the facility was to lead onto Chorley Hall Road, a side street that borders the plot. The entry point would have been from Preston Road.
Objecting to the plans, nearby resident Louise Parkinson told the committee that the likely congestion at the junction of Chorley Hall Road and Preston Road would result in drivers using the estate roads instead.
“Local knowledge - not theoretical lines on a drawing or predictions in a report - tells us we often wait 5-10 minutes to exit left here and you can forget turning right. With 48 predicted additional vehicle movements per hour, combined with existing traffic, cars will back up on the junction and within the site.
“This will push a significant number of vehicles per hour into very narrow residential streets,” said Ms. Parkinson, expressing particular concern that the 20mph speed limit on the estate is already widely "disregarded"
Highways officers from Lancashire County Council concluded that the plans would not have any impact on highway safety, but committee members were unconvinced.
Cllr Aaron Beaver said that it was impossible to turn left out of Chorley Hall Road without “clipping the kerb or going over the white line [on Preston Road].
“You can’t turn into Chorley Hall Road if there is a car waiting [to come out], so [traffic] will be backing up down the hill,” he warned.
Cllr Alistair Morwood added: “I cannot understand why they didn’t use the experience of the previous petrol station and come in off Preston Road...go round the back and come out again onto Preston Rd the other way.”
That second previous access point would have been closed off under the coffee shop plans.
Matthew Gray, the agent for the application, noted that EG Group were "market leaders" in operating such facilities and said that it was "logical use" for the long-derelict site.
He added: " It will result in significant economic benefits by way of the creation of circa 20 jobs, the majority of which will be filled by young people in the local area."
Cllr Martin Boardman said that members would have been having a “different discussion” had the proposal not been for a drive-through - but the committee voted to reject the plans on highway safety grounds.