Construction is well under way of a building that will be home to a Starbucks coffee shop and Greggs bakery on Chester’s Greyhound Retail Park opening later this summer.
A steel framework has been erected at the corner of the car park alongside Greyhound Park Road, on the opposite side of the road from Next and KFC, to accommodate two adjacent pods housing the operators.
The scheme will generate increased competition for Costa which has run a successful drive thru coffee shop on another part of the retail park since 2012. And Subway opened a nearby sandwich shop on the other side of Greyhound Park Road only last year.
A planning statement in support of the plans argued: “It is proposed that one of the units would be let to Starbucks, a coffee shop operator, and Greggs, a sandwich shop operator.”
The applicants argued the operation would be subservient to the main retail park uses and serve current customers.
Their document explained: “Their business model will be to sell coffee and snacks, and sandwiches to existing visitors to the park; it could not do this if located elsewhere. Coffee shops, sandwich shops, and other amenity offers have become increasingly common on retail parks in recent years, reflecting changes in the food and beverage market since the majority of the parks were constructed in the 1980s/early 1990s, before coffee shops had achieved widespread popularity.”
The scheme will mean the loss of 14 standard car parking spaces but an increase of three disabled spaces. Trees have been cleared to make way for the project but some new planting is proposed.
Planning officer Joe Fisher approved the project saying there were ‘no appropriate, currently available sites’ in Chester city centre and felt comfortable the centre of Chester would ‘not suffer’ as a result of the proposal.
Greggs, which has an outlet in Frodsham Street in the centre of Chester, has since secured planning consent for extractor grilles, condenser units and signs.
Starbucks operates outlets in Northgate Street, Chester, and alongside the BP petrol station on Parkgate Road at Saughall.