A new drive-through cafe has been approved in the business park of an Essex seaside town – but its identity remains a mystery. A request from Associated British Foods Pension Trustees Ltd for sketchy permission for the as-yet-unnamed Car Park Brook Retail Park cafe was granted by Tendring District Council at a planning committee meeting on March 30.

Councilors said a new cafe in Clacton-On-Sea, which is expected to create 30 new jobs, could be a “bonus” for the area. However, B&Q, which shares the site which is owned by the claimant, objected to the plans, saying the resulting loss of 40 parking spaces would create traffic congestion, and noted that the KFC ride currently on the site is seeing queues cars all the way. around the site during peak periods.

Although the brand of the coffee has not yet been revealed, the claimant submitted evidence of transport taking into account theoretical queue lengths for ‘comparable’ Costa Coffee locations in Banbury and Didcot.

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Heather Arnell, planning officer for the claimant, told the committee her evidence showed the proposals would not have a serious impact on road safety.

She said: “This includes two surveys of car park usage at different times of the year, both of which demonstrate that there is more than enough capacity in the car park to withstand the proposed loss of parking. ” Ms Arnell also said B&Q’s objection was ‘without merit’ and ‘unsupported by evidence’.

Appearing at the meeting alongside Clacton B&Q assistant store manager Tony Baldwin, planning officer Jake Tubb said one of the surveys was carried out over Christmas, which is one of their quietest times and therefore did not accurately represent traffic peaks.

He said: “The proposed drive-thru unit will reduce the number of parking spaces available to B&Q, cause congestion in the parking lot and surrounding streets, especially during peak periods, to the detriment of B&Q’s business and road safety.”

Councilor Peter Harris (Con, Weeley and Tendring) noted the dispute between the site owner and one of its tenants. He said: “I see it as a trade dispute largely, I don’t see it as a safety issue at all, I don’t really see it as a highways issue. I think it’s internal to the site.

“I sympathize very much with B&Q and foresee some problems there, but when the details come back to the committee, that is when the agent will have to demonstrate to the committee how he would mitigate the problems that would clearly be there.

According to a board report, no public representations were made regarding the plan. The site already has a KFC, Pizza Hut, Tesco Café, and a neighboring site has a McDonalds and pub.


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