A POPULAR coffee chain and a bakery could soon be opening two new stores at a city retail park – but the owner of a third unit still remains a mystery.

Costa Coffee and Greggs can now move into new buildings in Blackpole Retail Park in Worcester after plans were signed off by the council.

The tenant of a third and final unit, which has been the subject of “confidential” discussions all year, will still not be revealed.

Burger King ruled itself out earlier this year.

Artist’s impressions of the three empty stores show three signs – a red ‘Coffee’ and blue ‘Bakery’ indicating Costa and Greggs – with a green ‘Sandwich’ sign perhaps hinting a new Subway branch could also be opening.

A statement included with the planning application said the secret third store “typically partners Costa and Greggs in ‘pod’ developments elsewhere in the country.”

The stores would bring around 21 new jobs, according to the application.

The new units would be in a 397 square metre ‘pod’ next to the M&S Foodhall, which opened last year, replacing 31 car parking spaces. Costa would move into the biggest space with Greggs taking over the middle unit.

The lost car parking spaces would be replaced elsewhere in the retail park.

Two outdoor seating areas outside Costa and Greggs would also be built.

A statement by Legal and General Assurance said: “The proposed retail pod is intended primarily to service the retail park, providing visitors who are drawn to the retail park by the ‘big box’ retail uses, the opportunity of purchasing refreshments and light meals to eat in or take out as part of the same shopping trip.

“The application proposal will bring about valuable new investment and jobs within Worcester and will provide visitors to the Blackpole Retail Park with greater choice to purchase refreshments and light meals as part of the same shopping trip. Costa and Greggs are committed to taking two of the units and the occupant of the remaining unit is in confidential discussions regarding the agreement for lease.

“Furthermore, all three typically trade in partnership with each other in retail pod developments across the country and have established a functional relationship between each other and the retail developments they serve.”