In response to local concerns, Julie Johnson, Weoley Labour candidate, organised an open consultation meeting last week for Weoley residents affected by a recent Starbucks planning application.
The well-known coffee seller Starbucks have submitted a planning application to Birmingham City Council for a drive-through coffee shop at the junction of Sir Herbert Austin Way and Vineyard Road.
Local residents, teachers and parents voiced deep concerns about increased traffic flow and other key safety factors, including on-street parking in what is already a congested area during parts of the day, the additional pollution on a site adjacent to two primary schools and a children’s centre, and the potential for late night anti-social behaviour.
Julie said: “Not only have Starbucks made downward projections for jobs on this site before it’s even been approved, but my request for a site visit was refused, despite documentation offering access and a visit already having been undertaken by Cllr Freeman.”
It was acknowledged that Northfield is in great need of jobs, particularly for young people, but proposals to restrict these to local residents were dismissed as potentially contravening the Equality Act 2010 and therefore unjustifiable.
Other residents raised objections about Starbucks’ reputation for unethical tax avoidance in the UK.
Starbucks were invited to send a representative to talk to local people, but no one turned up.
The planning application documentation can be found at the City Council’s website here.
The Birmingham City Council Planning Committee is next due to meet on 28th April 2016.