Planning application considered for 24-hour drive-thru Starbucks

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Starbucks is looking to replace the former Maplin unit in Bedford’s St John’s Retail Park with a 24-hour drive-thru coffee shop.

The planning application, which has been submitted to Bedford Borough Council, said the unit has been vacant since Maplin’s collapse in 2018.

The site, which could generate 90 vehicle movements an hour, does not require a new access junction to the retail park. The drive-thru will be accessed from within the retail park’s existing car park.

The drive-thru lane will be constructed by removing ten car parking bays, but eight replacement parking bays will be constructed as part of the scheme.

This includes two Electric Vehicle charging bays, two mobility-impaired bays and four standard bays.

Two existing bays will also be converted to order/waiting bays. This, the applicant said, will result in a net loss of two parking spaces.

It is expected that there will be approximately 53 two-way vehicular movements during the site’s busiest weekday hour.

This will rise to approximately 90 two-way vehicular movements during the peak time on a Saturday.

This is means around three vehicles every two minutes will be arriving or departing the site.

It is expected that the drive-thru will generate 20-30 full-time jobs.

More information can be found on the council’s planning portal, reference 22/01686/FUL.

The application’s overall consultation expiry date is Friday, September 2, 2022.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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