As speculated in this post earlier this year, a franchise for Costa Coffee has applied for planning permission enabling conversion of the former Blockbuster store at 51, High Street, Brownhills into a Costa branch. The property has been empty since the video rental chain crashed in 2013.
The application – submitted as expected by design agency Architecture Design Limited on behalf of the company that operate Lichfield’s Costa branch – is still yet to be considered by the Planning Committee and is still some way off yet. Remember, even if permission is granted, there may be other factors that might prevent development, but this is another step down the road.
The application has the reference 16/0145 and can be perused on Walsall Council’s Planning Interactive service here. The application is listed as:
Change of use from a vacant Blockbuster Video shop (A1 use) to an A1/A3 use Costa Coffee shop, with new shopfront and signage.
The most interesting bits are the Design and Access Statement which can be read here, and the Shopfront plan, a section of which is shown above.
All the posted documents can be accessed from Walsall Council’s server via the links below:
As I say, we’re still a ways off from seeing a Costa here, but I can’t see any reason why Planning would refuse this – and it would bring to life a formerly empty unit, and give people another reason to come into the town.
I can’t really see it competing with existing cafes in Brownhills either.
Costa isn’t my particular thing, but I’m of the view that this would be great for Brownhills and wholly support it. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops.