CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a drive thru coffee shop are to come back before planners after the last scheme was withdrawn over protected trees as one councillor called it 'groundhog day'.

The proposals for the drive-thru restaurant at Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester have been resubmitted after a previous application was withdrawn following widespread opposition.

Trees to the west of the site were discovered to be protected - so the latest plan would move the drive thru on the site.

The application by Legal and General Assurance was received by Worcester City Council on Tuesday, March 19 with a consultation launched the following day (closing on April 12).

A previous application had been due to come before Worcester City Council planners in January but was withdrawn in December.

This decision caused ripples of relief among residents who feared the coffee shop would add to traffic congestion, parking problems and noise complaints.

"The design of the unit reflects the standard format of a Starbucks Coffee pod on retail parks throughout the country," says the new planning statement.

The siting of the drive thru building has been changed 'to enable the retention of the trees' but in all other matters 'the proposal remains the same as previously submitted'.

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According to the planning statement, the building will have glazing on the north and west sides and will be clad in Accoya wood with 'a free-standing pergola' over the payment and collection points. An outside seating plan will also feature.

Warndon city councillor Jill Desayrah, said: “This feels like Groundhog Day here. Developers are having another go at squeezing a drive-thru restaurant into the same inadequate space, in an already stretched car park and in the midst of severely congested roads.

"Unbelievable. Every objection from the last time based on loss of amenity still stands. I will be supporting my residents if they wish to object.”

The proposal, if given the green light, would result in the loss of 35 parking spaces although 11 additional spaces will be provided elsewhere in the car park (an overall loss of 24 spaces).

The opening hours will be between 6am and 8pm Mondays to Sundays, including Bank Holidays.

Edward Kimberley, a Labour candidate for Warndon, said: "I will be going around with the rest of the team in the near future to garner local opinion on the new Starbucks proposal.

"I won't be at all surprised if the answer that we come back with is the same as before, because it's pretty much exactly the same proposal!"