Planning application submitted for new Costa Coffee branch in Brownhills

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The proposed storefront of the new coffee shop. Image from plans submitted to Walsall Planning and posted with the application. Click for a larger version.

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.

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5 Responses to Planning application submitted for new Costa Coffee branch in Brownhills

  1. alvin cox says:

    competition is a great thing, i am all for it , to me they do a decent cup of everything.

  2. Julie Brough says:

    It will be good to be able to get a decent cup of coffee in Brownhills. I really hope this goes through. It has worked very well in Aldridge 😊

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    They say that, as Costa is not a specific destination (in other words people won’t visit Brownhills to use Costa only) their business will come from existing footfall. On that basis it could draw people who just want a coffee and a slice of cake, away from other outlets, especially while it is a novelty.

    Whether or not it does compete in practice this would not be a reason to refuse planning position in a centre like Brownhills.

    I would have thought that at least some of the takeaway trade would come from passing traffic, for example people on the way to work or meetings. Some trade might come from people holding less formal meetings; I attended many at similar establishments in my planning career.

    Still, I agree it would be a good addition to the centre.

    Anyone who agrees can contact the Council via the links in the post above to express their support, or can ask their councillors who are not on the Planning Committee to do so on their behalf. Anyone who disagrees can object by the same routes.


    • One of my main contentions with Costa is the fact they don’t do more than cake-sandwich type food, and they’re open usually until 6 or 7pm. I’d imagine a lot of business will come from after school, or school run trade like Aldridge, which is uncovered for at the moment, whereas the more traditional cafes will be better value for butties and meals.

      Best wishes

  4. Rose Burnell says:

    There’s been work happening on the roof and rear of this plot during the last week. Does anyone know whether they’re going ahead with plans to open this?

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