A CONTROVERSIAL proposal for a drive thru coffee shop would 'heap misery' on residents if it gets the green light says a councillor as he joins the chorus of complaints.

Cllr Owen Cleary has criticised the application to create a Starbucks drive thru at Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester and says he has 'called it in' with planners over residents' objections.

The Conservative city councillor for Warndon said he had received many representations about the application, which has yet to come before Worcester City Council's planning committee for a decision, with many concerns from residents linked to traffic and rubbish.

Although the plans were withdrawn last December, a new application was submitted by Legal and General last month in which the position of the drive-thru has been altered because of the protected trees. So far Legal and General have provided no official comment on the application. 

Cllr Jill Desayrah, also a Warndon councillor, called in the new application as soon as it was lodged with the planning department.

Now she plans to fight it if and when it comes before the city council's planning committee, saying she was 'delighted' Cllr Cleary was now supporting the objections. 

Worcester News: CONCERN: Cllr Owen Cleary has raised concerns about the Starbucks drive thru scheme at Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester CONCERN: Cllr Owen Cleary has raised concerns about the Starbucks drive thru scheme at Elgar Retail Park in Blackpole in Worcester (Image: Worcester City Council)

The Labour councillor recused herself from an earlier planning meeting when she declared her objection to the first application on July 12 last year. Together with residents, Cllr Desayrah took part in a protest against the proposal last September with banners and placards.

She was planning to speak against the previous application for the drive thru Starbucks before it was withdrawn over tree preservation orders in the car park and says she will fight the new, amended plans as well.

RECOMMENDED READING: Starbucks drive thru in Blackpole is 'threat to trees'

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Cllr Cleary said residents had already complained that when leaving for work in the morning, the traffic flow is so heavy that they are often forced to travel the wrong way out of their estate for a good while, before they can turnaround and join the traffic flow of their intended direction. 

He said a second representation was connected to rubbish from existing businesses, including rubbish dumped in their gardens with some residents complaining they have 'taken to tidying the retail park site themselves'. 

Cllr Cleary said: "I have referred this application to the planning committee because I believe Mason's Drive residents' concerns must be paramount, they deserve an opportunity to air their views. 

"Adding a drive-through so close to a residential estate will exacerbate the existing problems. This will heap more misery on residents who are already sick and tired of the traffic and mess they face daily.

"It is great that Worcester is attracting businesses but this is the wrong place for another drive-through business."

Cllr Desayrah, who took part in a protest against the previous Starbucks application, said: "I am delighted that Cllr Cleary has finally come off the fence. This project was flawed when it was proposed in June and it remains a bad idea."