Warwick coffee shop approved despite mass objection
A chain coffee shop has been approved for Warwick town centre despite overwhelming objection and generating a petition against similar plans.
Council planners this week agreed a contentious plan for the Warwick Antiques Centre in High Street to be turned into a space for national chain, Coffee#1.
The new cafe will create six full-time jobs and several part- time positions when it opens its doors later this year.
Agreeing the change from retail for the shop on the corner of Swan Street, councillors agreed the move would not have an impact on parking or on nearby residents - ignoring hundreds of objections over the greater impact on historic Warwick.
The divisive application pulled in vocal objections from residents, shoppers and other business owners claiming the town is already overrun with such businesses.
And a petition launched just days before the planning meeting gained more than 350 signatures of support.
Calling for a preservation of the historic nature of the town it 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.
“The six full-time jobs created by the new Coffee#1 will pail into insignificance in comparison to the many full and part-time jobs lost.”
Colin Waite, who has run the large antiques centre since Easter, said he has been “squeezed out” in the fight against big business.
But he said the long-running and popular business will not be lost after finding new premises just metres away.
The retired jeweller said: “This shop has been here for 40 years and people are really very sad to see this change.
“A lot of people have been in to say how sad they are to see this, it is getting a lot of interest and people are not happy.
“We could not compete with the rents offered by these big companies and so there is no way we can stay.
“Luckily, we can move in down the road. We were squeezed out and we cannot fight it.”
The shop hosts stands and stalls for around 30 traders and businesses, all of which will move to numbers 5 -7 Jury Street next month.