Cheers! Planners set to give thumbs up to Costa Coffee for Horncastle

The building which would become a Costa - if the plans are approved next week.
The building which would become a Costa - if the plans are approved next week.

Members of East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee are next week expected to clear the way for the arrival of a Costa Coffee outlet in Horncastle.

Planning officers are recommending approval of proposals to change the use of an existing hardware store in the town’s Market Place, paving the way for Costa’s arrival.

Technically, committee members could vote against the recommendation - although it would be a major surprise.

The committee meeting with take place at ELDC’s Manby headquarters next Thursday.

Planning officers have already given approval for two non-illuminated signs on the outside of the building, owned by long-standing Horncastle company Achurch and Son.

Achurch has links with the town going back more than 100 years.

The ‘change of use’ application, though, is key to the whole process.

The applicants are a London company Cuppacoff Ltd, acting on behalf of Costa, who hope to open a two storey coffee house with more than 90 covers.

The prospect of a national retailer opening in Horncastle has been widely welcomed although there are some concerns about the impact it will have on existing coffee houses and cafes.

It was widely expected the application would be decided by a planning officer - and not by members of the planning committee.

However, documents on ELDC’s website show the change of use is a ‘departure’ from the Local Plan, which suggests that protection should be given to retaining traditional businesses in the town centre.

The town council is supporting the Costa application but there are objections from two local residents worried about the loss of the hardware store and the ‘detrimental effect’ on other coffee houses.

• Planning officers are recommending refusal of proposals to alter Smarties Bar in The Broadway, Woodhall Spa.

The application will also be discussed next Thursday along with plans for more than 30 new homes off Louth Road in Wragby.

The latter scheme is recommended for approval, with conditions.