A COFFEE chain has opened its controversial store in Southwold.

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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.”

2 comments

  • This is excellent news. One in the eye for the legendary NIMBYs of Southwold. All we need is for the Southwold Railway project to succeed next.

    Report this comment

    John Alborough

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Oh the shame of it, people will no doubt be moving out of Southwold in their droves. Any chance of a cheap beach hut?

    Report this comment

    JOHN BURLS

    Friday, February 22, 2013

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