Planners reject Costa drive-thru but give go-ahead for light-up signs

Illuminated signs were given the green light in Dumbarton despite the cafe being refused permission last year.

Rejected Dumbarton Costa Coffee drive-thru has signs approved by West Dunbartonshire Council LDRS

Signs for a new drive-thru Costa Coffee in Dumbarton have been approved – despite planning permission for the cafe itself being refused.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee rejected planning permission for the drive-thru, on Glasgow Road near Morrisons supermarket, last December.

That refusal is now the subject of an appeal to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division however, and councillors were told this meant, under planning legislation, the council could not withhold determination of this application for the illuminated sign pending the outcome of the appeal.

It also means granting the application does not imply that the drive-thru coffee shop is now acceptable.

Members of the planning committee were advised that Costa Coffee had applied for a drive-thru sign to be located near the proposed coffee shop with an illuminated board located inside the building, when the application was discussed on Wednesday.

Mike Powell, an agent for the applicant, said: “This application is for the signage associated with the proposed drive-thru which is currently at its appeal.

“It is important to note that the signage application has no bearing on the current appeal and must be determined on safety and amenity conditions only.

“The proposals are made up of illuminated and non-illuminated signs as well as pole signs.”

Councillors were informed about concerns raised about the application from Dumbarton East and Central Community Council.

Members objected on the grounds of noise, road safety in relation to traffic levels and incidents of speeding, the number of fast food outlets already in the area and the proposed signage being excessive.

Councillor Karen Conaghan said: “I was wondering if a condition could be added that no signs could be erected until consent for the coffee shop was actually granted.”

Building standards manager Pamela Clifford responded: “The majority of the signage is in relation to the building which cannot be developed unless permission is granted by the appeals unit.

“To put a condition on would be quite reasonable I think but it is a matter for the agent directly.”

Following the discussion, the application was granted unanimously.

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