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Southwold: Much-debated Costa Coffee shop finally opens its doors

PUBLISHED: 18:31 21 February 2013 | UPDATED: 18:31 21 February 2013

The new Costa coffee shop has opened in Southwold.

The new Costa coffee shop has opened in Southwold.

© Archant 2012

A COFFEE chain has opened its controversial store in Southwold.

Costa Coffee officially opened its High Street shop on Wednesday but was open for several hours on Tuesday as staff completed last minute preparations and handed out free coffee vouchers in the town.

The town council and more than 600 people objected to the company’s plans to take over the former Fanny & Frank clothes shop amid concerns it could harm the town’s “unique character”.

But despite the opposition, its plans were given the go-ahead by Waveney District Council’s development control committee in August.

Store manager Glenn Crane, who previously managed the Costa in Tesco, Beccles, said the shop had been busy since opening at 7am yesterday morning.

“We had workmen in at 7.10am wanting coffee,” he said. “We are surprised at how busy it has been.”

There was much speculation on social networking site Twitter in the build up to the low-key opening with opinion split among social media users.

And Guy Mitchell, chairman of Southwold Chamber of Trade, urged people to keep supporting local independent businesses now that Costa Coffee had opened.

Mr Mitchell added: “With over 80% of businesses being local independents, we’d encourage people to value the fact that Southwold offers something a little different.”

One person was rescued from a fire in a house in Braeburn Close near Woodbridge Road on the eastern side of Ipswich late on Sunday night.

Suffolk is set to launch a new campaign to try to find more foster-carers for children who need to be moved away from their own families.

Long, long ago (well, Saturday) in a galaxy far, far away (okay, Bury St Edmunds) stormtroopers from the planet Coruscant invaded the centre of a peaceful civilisation.

MP Therese Coffey has refused to apologise after questioning why police kept Orwell Bridge closed for eight hours following a fatal accident.

Eight fans were arrested by police after trouble broke out among a small group of football supporters at the end of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road in Ipswich.

A new Chief Fire Officer is being recruited to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) – on a £140,000 per year salary.

A 21-year-old man was treated for stab wounds after being robbed in Colchester’s Greenstead Estate on Saturday evening.

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