In a surprising turnaround, Starbucks have withdrawn their application to build a drive-through coffee shop in Weoley following Julie Johnson’s public meeting earlier this month.
I’m so proud to have played a part in giving the people of Weoley this platform to get their voices heard
Starbucks failed to send a representative to provide any answers to local residents’ concerns about increased traffic flow and other key safety factors, including on-street parking, additional pollution, and the potential for late night anti-social behaviour.
Julie also highlighted local Tories’ mistaken claims that thirty jobs would be created, pointing out that the coffee shop had forecast only ten full-time and ten part-time jobs.
Julie said: “I’m so proud to be able to represent the people of Weoley in the face of Starbucks’ lack of consultation.
“We welcome businesses investment in Weoley, but local parents, teachers and neighbours refuse to accept that it should be at the expense of their children’s safety. The proposed site on a busy corner near the Bellfield schools is not appropriate for the type of business Starbucks want to use it for.
“Local residents were excited about Starbucks’ drive-through coffee shop innovation, along with the promised jobs, but felt another more suitable site in the Weoley ward should be sought.
“We congratulate Starbucks for listening to our concerns and and responding to our wishes. We wish them well and look forward to working with them in their future ventures.”
Birmingham City Council notified Julie that
Starbucks had withdrawn their application
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Julie Johnson with Cllr Andy Cartwright
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.