Costa Coffee in Cromer finally gets opening date

Costa Coffee is opening in Cromer. Picture: David Bale

Costa Coffee is opening in Cromer. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Costa Coffee is opening in Cromer tomorrow.

Costa Coffee is opening in Cromer. Picture: David Bale

Costa Coffee is opening in Cromer. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Business owners in the seaside town have known since last year that the coffee giant was coming.

And shoppers and locals have walked by the ongoing building work at the store in Church Street for seemingly ages.

A member of staff making final preparations to the store yesterday lunchtime confirmed to passers-by, with a smile and a thumbs-up, that Friday was opening day.

Peeping into the store, all the work looked pretty much done, and even the outside seats were in place on the pavement.

It won't be good news for everyone.

About a year ago North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb sent Costa's managing director a letter expressing the wish of Cromer's businesses to stay 100pc independent in the food and drink market.

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He later said: 'They've said in their letter they want to be good neighbours, and they're hoping to bring more people to the area by being here.'

Nearly 1,500 people signed a petition to keep the chain out of Cromer.

In his introduction to the petition, Gary Dickenson of the Cromer Chamber of Trade said: 'Many people say Cromer isn't like other high streets and that's the magical charm that it can offer over and above other high street towns - that's the reason so many people keep coming back.

'Our focus is on promoting the independent coffee shops and challenging and educating shoppers to be brave and try independent goods, coffee and tea in this case, rather than default to well-known brands.'

Cromer Town Council also objected to the plans on on a number of levels.

These included the close proximity to grade I and II listed buildings and the firm's sign being unsuitable for the conservation area.

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said at the time: 'North Norfolk District Council does not own the property and has no control over who the building is let to, this is a commercial decision for the owner/landlord of the property.

'The change of use application to convert two A1 retail units to an A3 food and drink use was granted by the Council in 2016.

'This was in line with our established policies which allow up to 30pc of frontage within identified retail streets to be used for complementary but not retail use.'

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