Starbucks has been told to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to plans for a new Aberdeen drive-thru branded a traffic nightmare.
The Seattle-based coffee giant put forward plans to build the new unit at Queen’s Links Leisure Park more than a year ago.
The coffee shop, with seating for 38 people, would have been created over parking spaces near the entrance.
Starbucks said it would give the “tired and ageing” complex a much-needed business boost.
Why were the Starbucks plans at Queen’s Links refused?
However, council planning chiefs were left unimpressed after dissecting the proposals.
They said the amount of traffic generated by such a development would raise major issues.
Officers said it would likely result in “increased car usage” – clashing with the council’s climate goals.
They also voiced fears about excess vehicles in the area on busy days, such as big Dons home games at nearby Pittodrie.
And citing new eco-friendly government planning rules, they conclude: “The principle of drive-thru development at the site is not accepted.”
Why not help Union Street instead?
The global coffee chain already has six branches in the city.
Amid much discussion on the future of Union Street, planning officials suggested that Starbucks should look to an empty unit there rather than building a new venue at Queen’s Links.
Their report states: “There would be an inevitable diversion of trade away from the city centre.
“The city centre has a suffered a significant reduction in footfall, and in the scale and range of retail, in recent years.”
While accepting that a drive-thru might not be possible, they add: “The cafe could readily be accommodated there.”
Starbucks at Queen’s Links would ‘attract more car journeys’
Local councillor Sandra Macdonald welcomed the decision.
She said: “Attracting more car journeys for the sake of a coffee is not a sustainable model for the future.
“There are many existing local businesses offering a good coffee experience on the Esplanade.
“I hope that locals, day trippers and longer haul tourists continue to support these outlets.”