Costa Coffee gets set to open in Ripon

The site of the old Bonmarche, where Costa will open.
The site of the old Bonmarche, where Costa will open.

Business owners in Ripon fear that the city’s tourism trade will be jeopardised after

a national coffee chain was given the go-ahead to open on Fishergate.

Coffee shop owners in Ripon were left feeling ignored after Harrogate Borough Council accepted a planning application by Costa Coffee to open at the site of the old Bonmarché.

Janet Hudson, 44, who owns the historic café Wakeman’s House on Market Place South said: “I am not surprised. Harrogate Borough Council don’t give a damn what goes on in Ripon. We have always been the poor relation.

“Ripon’s Market Square does not need corporate logos branded around. We have enough of them. It should be about independent local traders.”

Tim Grant, 47, who owns Oliver’s Pantry on North Street, said: “I resigned myself to the fact it would get passed. But we are up for doing a campaign if enough people can rally against this.”

Ripon City Council have urged people to see the advantages of the planning decision.

The Chamber of Trade and Commerce secretary Don Grundy said: “There’s no doubt that brands bring people to Ripon. It’s good for jobs that we lost with Bonmarché closing. It shows great confidence that a shop like this wants to come to Ripon at a time of economic difficulty.”

Harrogate Borough Council noted that no objections were received from Ripon City Council and that Costa can encourage visitors to stay longer.

A spokesman said: “Coffee shops are a growth retail sector and the interest from shoppers in café culture can complement surrounding shopping uses and contribute to the vitality of shopping areas.”

A spokesman for Costa Coffee said: “As the UK’s favourite coffee shop and one of the success stories on the UK high street, we work closely with planning departments across the country to open new stores for the benefit of their local communities, creating new jobs and providing attractive and popular social meeting places.”