Petition launched against '˜coffee shop Warwick'
A petition has been launched against new coffee shops in Warwick following upset over latest cafe application for the town centre.
Council planners are set to agree an application for the Warwick Antiques Centre in High Street to be turned into a space for national chain, Coffee#1.
The application has so far received 60 letters of objection from residents, shoppers and other business owners claiming the town is already overrun with such businesses.
There are also calls to preserve the historic nature of the town as reflected in the new petition which launched on Monday - just hours ahead of the planning meeting on Tuesday evening where the change will be debated.
The petition, which attracted over 70 signatures within hours of going live online, states: “Enough is Enough. We have a Costa and a Cafe Nero. No more, please.
“We need retail premises to bring people to our quiet, independent market town.
“We do not need yet another chain coffee shop to absorb more of our independent, established, historic cafes. These venues are run by families and are part of our community. The six full time positions created by the new Coffee#1, will pail into insignificance in comparison to the many full and part time jobs lost.
“The filling of one site, will create many further empty ones.”
Colin Waite who runs the antiques centre on the corner of High Street and Swan Street, said despite being “squeezed out” by the chain in what is expected to be voted through by planners, the long-running business will not be lost after finding new premises just metres away.
Mr Waite, a retired jeweller and antiques dealer took over the premises at Easter and said he has seen large numbers of customers coming in to express upset over the changes.
“This shop has been here for 40 years and people are really very sad to see this application in,” he said.
“We could not compete with the rents offered by these big companies and so there is no way we can stay which is a shame.
“Luckily we can move in down the road so nothing will be lost but there is no alternative, we were squeezed out and we cannot fight it.”
The shop hosts stands and sales for around 30 small traders and businesses, all of which will move to numbers 5 -7 Jury Street next month.
Sign the petition here.