A new coffee shop will open in an Aberdeenshire town after controversial plans were approved by councillors.
The new Starbucks cafe, complete with car parking and a drive-thru lane, has been granted planning approval at Arnhall Business Park in Westhill.
Planners backed the project, but 50 objections from local residents were lodged, citing a concern about the over-saturation of similar businesses nearby and claiming it was a “speculative application” linked to the new Dons stadium at Kingsford.
Originally, the proposals included a large brick “roof fin” displaying the famous green Starbucks Coffee brand logo.
However, earlier this year members of the Garioch Area Committee urged the developers to revise their plans for the project to remove the advertising feature on the roof, and use “simplified” oak cladding in blonde and dark stain.
When the proposals returned to the committee yesterday, members agreed the requests for alterations achieved an improved design they were “largely happy with”, and the Starbucks plan was given approval, subject to conditions.
Westhill councillor Ron McKail put forward the motion to grant the project the go-ahead.
He said: “We have a national company who has agreed to make changes.
“This is an important development for Westhill and it received a number of objections.
“The objectors are not in favour for a variety of reasons, but if we are to consider this on planning policies, then in my view we have to accept the recommendations of the planning officer and grant full planning permission.”
Fellow Westhill councillor David Aitchison added: “We asked for design changes to be looked at, and they have been.
“I’m largely happy with what’s happened, and I think it’s an improvement. It is worthwhile asking for developers to go away and look at designs again, and it’s something to consider for the future.”