New drive-thru Starbucks could be coming to popular Rochdale retail park
Here’s a first look at the plans for a new Starbucks in Rochdale.
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A new drive-thru Starbucks could be coming to a popular Rochdale retail park. The coffee giant has plans for a new outlet at Sandbrook Retail Park – already home to big names such Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Pure Gym, as well as an Odeon cinema.
Plans for a drive-thru cafe first surfaced seven years ago as part of a new phase of the development which saw the old B&Q part-demolished and a Travelodge and two new shops spring up at the site. However, problems with a water culvert beneath the site led to the proposed coffee shop being shelved so the remainder of the scheme to be built out.
But applicant AIG Holdings says it has identified a ‘continued demand for a drive-thru unit in this location’ and has now lodged revised plans to the council. Papers say the drive-thru would be occupied by Starbucks and ‘represents an important opportunity to deliver enhancements’ to the retail park.
A planning statement reads: “The proposal seeks to enhance the retail and leisure offer of an established retail and leisure destination, contributing to a complementary and beneficial mix of uses, facilitating linked trips and visitors to out of centre retail and leisure destinations expect the type of facilities proposed to be available.”
And it argues that – following the pandemic – retailers are favouring the drive-thru format due to changes in consumer habits and demands.
The statement continues: “The addition of a drive thru coffee shop will provide a service currently unavailable to the park’s existing customers,” the document continues. Drive-thru coffee shop facilities such as that which is proposed, are now a common feature at similar retail and leisure parks across the country and are part of the shopping experience customers increasingly expect.”
The new single-storey building would have an outdoor seating area for 24 customers near its entrance, enclosed from the drive-thru lane by planters.
It would be built on the car park that currently serves Pizza Hut, Pink Drips and McDonald’s – land originally earmarked for a drive-through restaurant in the original plans submitted in 2016.
This will result in the loss of 31 car parking spaces – leaving 681 bays across the site in total. The new parking layout would include 17 car spaces – including two disabled bays and a 4EV charging point – as well as six cycle spaces. A customer waiting bay will be allocated next to the pick-up window, while a delivery area is reserved by the southern side of the parking spaces.
The applicant does not anticipate this will have a significant impact on the operation of the car park ‘due to the varying peak hours of demand for different uses on-site’. And neither does AIG expect much of a knock-on effect on local roads, pedestrian and cycle routes, or public transport, as the customers ‘will be drawn predominantly from existing users’ of the retail park.
“The site is accessible by all modes including the private car and that the proposals would not result in a material impact upon the local highway network nor change to demand on the existing pedestrian, cycling and public transport facilities and services,” papers add.
The proposed coffee shop would open between 6am and midnight, with deliveries between 8am and 8pm. Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission for the scheme.