PLANS to create a drive-through coffee house at one of St Helens’ busiest road junctions have been given the green-light.
St Helens Council’s planning committee last week passed hotly-debated plans for a Starbucks coffee house at the Windle Island junction of the East Lancs by a majority of 10 votes to two.
The plans had previously polarised opinion in the area.
Scores of residents voiced their opposition - citing arguments as diverse as traffic congestion and the overwhelming smell of coffee!
But a growing number also told of their support for the proposal, which will now bring 20 much-needed jobs to the town.
Fred Bishop, of Crantock Road, said siting a drive-through Starbucks next to the Tesco Express would create havoc on roads in the area - despite the firm’s offer to install a pedestrian crossing refuge island in the middle of Rainford Road.
Mr Bishop, backed by Windle councillor Wally Ashcroft, said: “Windle Island is already designated a high-risk accident blackspot, and this development would just make things worse.
“It’s hard to oppose a plan that could create 20 jobs - particularly in the current economic climate - but surely there’s a better place this could go.”
But among the Windle residents supporting the proposal were Reporter readers Kevin Boyce and Pat Marsden - who both told of their frustration at local “knee-jerk” opposition to the plan.
A Starbucks spokeswoman said that a drive-through on the vacant site would be “a positive addition to the community”.