A DEMONSTRATION against a drive-thru coffee shop near an already 'gridlocked' main road is set to take place.

People taking part in the peaceful protest will be holding placards as they gather at the entrance to the Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole on Saturday, September 16. 

Worcester News: SCHEME: The drive thru is proposed for Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester but some residents are against it SCHEME: The drive thru is proposed for Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester but some residents are against it (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

Residents are expected to congregate between 3pm and 3.45pm as they mount a 'non-disruptive' protest against the proposed drive-thru, rumoured to be a new Starbucks.

The application for the drive-thru seeks approval for 'unrestricted trading hours' which has led to concerns from residents about noise, especially as some say they are already disturbed by the tannoy from KFC. 

The proposals would result in a loss of 35 spaces, although 11 additional spaces would be provided elsewhere within the car park leading to an overall loss of 24 spaces.

Objections from residents have centred on concerns the development would generate extra traffic on an already congested Blackpole Road.

Concerns have also been raised about additional noise, antisocial behaviour and parking issues at the retail park spilling over onto nearby residential streets. 

READ MORE: Coffee drive thru at Elgar Retail Park - anger mounts

READ MORE: Elgar Retail Park drive thru coffee shop 'must be stopped'

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council has responded to concerns raised by Cllr Jill Desayrah, who has organised the demonstration, about the drive-thru causing further problems with congestion in Blackpole Rood.

A county council spokesperson acknowledged the concerns.

"From a Highways point of view, we are aware of congestion around the retail park during busy periods and are looking at ways to improve this to help inform any future plans.

"However, the issues as described i.e. the congestion (rather than gridlock) and the poor parking behaviour in the vicinity, are existing issues without the development and the parking on the residential streets (Masons Drive) hasn’t been evidenced."

Cllr Desayrah said: "I’m disappointed that county fails to recognise the need for current data gathering regarding the Blackpole Road but I’m happy they at least acknowledge there currently is an issue.

"How adding any traffic to this issue can help it is still beyond me. And what sort of evidence of overspill parking on Mason’s Drive is required? I’m hopeful this can be obtained if I know what would be acceptable." 

Cllr Desayrah, who represents Warndon, has also sought assurances from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service over the drive-thru and thanked them for their response.

She said: "Worcester Fire Station responded to my question, asking for their views on this development. They said that although drivers always make way for blue-lighted vehicles, whenever fire crews have to negotiate gridlocked traffic areas there can be an impact on their response time.

"Further, I'm concerned that drivers sometimes might have to mount the pavements to allow them through. This is even more worrying at school leaving times when those pavements are crowded with children. The bottom line here is this the last thing this road needs is more traffic."