Swale are currently looking at the planning proposals presented by Costa and are asking for feedback.
Please see the pdf we have received here. There is so lively discussion and comments on the Visit Faversham Facebook page too, please get involved.
You have until February 19th to submit your comments to Swale.
This is an opportunity to have your say, as a resident or local business.
All correspondence details are on the pdf, for you to contact Swale directly.
If you wish to voice your comments on this blog, we will be pleased to hear from you and support discussion.
I have also received some comments regarding the opposing view regarding Costa being granted planning in Faversham which I wish to share with you below;
The case against Costa in Faversham’s historic market square.
Costa Coffee is seeking permission to open a branch of their branded outlets in a prime site on Faversham's historic market square, a place famous for its unique character and locally-owned businesses - and one already boasting many coffee shops. There has been lively online discussion about the possible arrival of the chain in the town centre. It's important that all voices be heard - but it's also important that those who do object do so on valid planning grounds. It's not always obvious what are valid planning grounds, so some of us - all local residents - have put together an objection including valid grounds as well as more heartfelt arguments about how we feel it would undermine Faversham’s unique character.
If you would like to object, please feel free to go to http://tinyurl.com/noz6tu4 and to use whatever you find there that you agree with. Feel free of course to use your own words if you like, to add arguments of your own that we might not have thought of, and to leave out those you disagree with.
Swale Borough Council will be making a decision on the application in February, so it's important to submit your comments very soon.You can object to (or support!) the application by:- Writing to Development Management, quoting planning application ref (14/505083/FULL) and saying ‘I object to the proposals...’ (providing reason/s why you support them).
Write to case officer:
Tracy Day, Development Management, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT
On-line via www.swale.gov.uk/search-for-or-comment-on-an-application and entering the application number (14/505083/FULL).
You can then access the ‘comment on the application’ facility.
Emailing the case officer Tracy Day in the Planning Department on TracyDay@swale.gov.uk quoting planning application ref (14/505083/FULL) and saying ‘I object to the proposals...’ (providing reasons).
Showing comments 1 to 5 of 6
Maybe the town might just benefit from a bit more competition in this space.
If a costa were to open up shop, it would force other local entities to up their game a little bit. Consumers would then benefit greatly from this, as the entire ecosystem will improve.
Even if it does force some cafes to close down, it will be good in the long run as better shops/services will take their place.
Comment by Anonymous on 01 Feb 2015
Hi my comment wasn't fully submitted below so I am just reiterating my objection to Costa. It isn't because I don't want a chain in town.
We saw how Clinton cards came in and lasted five minutes but look how the Card Factory has taken off. You see I can appreciate the need for a card factory because of its reasonable prices and gift ideas. What I object to is the fact that a small town CANNOT develop by putting another coffee shop here.
One debate I had with a man on twitter was Costas planned open time (6:30am). I stated that I didn't see the need for it to be open so early and my reply was "commuters like a coffee on the way to the station" - if that's the case then why did the little shop and cafe at the station stop opening at these times and then the shop close altogether?
We forget that the demand just wasn't there. So opening a Costa just doesn't seem justifiable.
We need shops. Not charity shops, not hardware shops, not coffee shops. We need clothes, we need affordable clothes. We need something there that will make people stay in Faversham as opposed to going out of town for something.
Comment by Ali B on 01 Feb 2015
This proposal by Costa is not well thought out at all. Being a coffee shop owner in Market Place, and one of circa 25 outlets that provide coffee, there is clearly no need for another. Market saturation of coffee outlets is not going to increase
footfall at all. There are clear guidelines within Faversham's local plan that state conversion of retail units should only be considered if it will bring diversity to the town and clearly with around 25 outlets already here it will certainly not bring any diversity.
The following claims by Costa made in support of their application are a standard issue response from a multinational Co. who has no knowledge of the town and it is not specific to Faversham in any way. This shows a severe lack of research and care about what is best for our town.
These are the claims made by Costa* 10 new jobs plus career opportunities with a leading FTSE 100 business (Whitbread).
This will be achieved by any other retailer who moves into the premises- £263,000 of fresh investment into this important building, giving it a new lease of life and viable future use
This level of investment will have to come from any new tenant- An increase in footfall for the town centre (branded coffee shops can increase footfall by 28%*) The statement that footfall will be increased is unfounded.
It is highly likely that the research carried out that concluded this figure was conducted by Costa itself and certainly did not include Faversham.- An established, community-supporting business with an active charity and outreach programme
Most of the other independently owned outlets are community-supporting businesses owned and run by local residents who have a personal interest in the town and its people. The same people who give up their own time to get involved
in a place they call home. I may be wrong, but I am not sure the owners of Costa will not do the same! Playing the charity card is cheap. Besides this, Faversham has a local plan and its main priority for Faversham is that it seeks to promote a strong and diverse local economy.
The plan states that any proposals for change of use must not be at the expense of diversity and distinctiveness. The plan states that the council will grant permission for proposals that widen the range of activities and facilities available for residents and tourists in the town. The plan states that with regards to the Core Shopping Areas the Borough Council will only permit non-retail uses that provide a service or facility for residents or visitors currently lacking or under-represented in the town centre area”.
Within the defined Core Shopping Areas, where retail remains the predominant use, the Council will retain and allow only the limited introduction of other uses that will enhance the primary retail function.
Comment by Kirsty on 28 Jan 2015
I appreciate people aren't happy about Costa opening a store in Faversham, and we certainly don't need yet another coffee shop, but one of the arguments seems to be 'we don't want a chain store'. Let's be honest here, the vast majority of stores currently in the high street are really nothing to be proud of. Whitstable we ain't, and while we keep attempting to reject new businesses sadly I don't think we ever will be. Rejecting a company like Costa may not in itself make the high street better but if we want the quality independent stores that comments seem to suggest, we have to do something to attract them. Key word here is 'investment'.
Take an objective look at Faversham as it stands. Better still, take a walk around the town, it doesn't take long. On Saturday mornings it's fantastic and buzzing with the market in full flow, but pop down there when the market isn't on. 'Depressing' is the word that springs to my mind.
Comment by Ricardo on 28 Jan 2015