Express & Star

Starbucks targets new store in Stone

Starbucks could be coming to Stone if plans to convert a vehicle showroom on the outskirts of town are approved – but several residents have said they do not want the chain affecting local businesses.

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There are currently no branches of the international coffee giant in Stone.

But an application to convert Dans on the A34 into a drive-thru have been submitted to Stafford Borough Council.

The new drive-thru is expected to create 10 full-time and 15 part-time jobs if the plans are passed. The proposed opening times of the branch are 5am to 11pm.

But town residents have mixed views on the proposal. Several people have welcomed the proposal but more than 20 have submitted objections to the borough council.

One said: “There are plenty of existing amenities in Stone, including coffee machines at local petrol stations on the A34 in both directions. The independent traders in Stone will suffer as a result of this. SBC (Stafford Borough Council) should be supporting local business that contribute back into the local area, not those whose profits leave the area and country.

“The traffic on the A34 at peak times is already bad, to increase the number of cars exiting onto the carriageway and slowing to turn in – and possibly queue – will increase the chance of accidents and bad traffic – particularly around the two roundabouts at Meaford.

“Starbucks, in common with many other fast food establishments, produce a large amount of single use rubbish. Not least will this create litter and endanger wildlife along the road corridor but it is directly above the River Trent and next to woodland.

“I believe that Starbucks will increase litter and antisocial behaviour in those habitats and create damage. This undermines efforts in the borough to increase biodiversity and mitigate against climate change.”

A Newman Close resident said: “Stone does not need another coffee outlet. There are plenty of coffee shops/cafes in Stone. Support the local businesses.”

A Rudyard Close resident said: “The A34 is a busy and noisy enough road without the need to attract more traffic from the crack of dawn until late at night. The construction to create the drive thru would cause massive local disruption.”

But a Harecastle Bank resident said: “I live on the estate opposite and can see no reason to object to it on any level really – it will serve more people than the existing business and can’t see it will drag much business from the town. It may affect the Costa sales in the Esso but that’s just one coffee chain vs another and competition, especially with national companies, is something to be encouraged.

“[It] brings a few jobs into the town – ideal first jobs for older teenagers. [I] feel it’s unlikely to affect traffic on the A34 or access to Whitebridge given the run off into the venue.”

A Joules Drive resident said: “Like the addition of M&S I believe the addition of a well-respected establishment to the town will ultimately be positive and we should welcome the repurposing of an already developed site.”

A Cauldon House resident said: “I think this is a great idea for the area. There is no option for a coffee shop in this area without having to park up and walk to Costa in town so we have to drive out to Wolstanton or Newcastle for the nearest drive through.

“Jobs will be created through the new development which is great for the area. I work with adults in the area who cannot do travel training too far out but often want to nip for a coffee – this is the perfect location.

“I live on the A34 and it is already a noisy and busy road at every hour of the day and night – Starbucks will not make a difference to noise or pollution issues in the area.”