PLANS for a Starbucks drive-thru at a busy junction on the outskirts of Reading could still go ahead despite it being rejected earlier this year.

Landowning company T A Fisher Holdings Ltd applied to build a drive-thru cafe to be occupied by Starbucks at Shepherds Hill, the meeting point of East Reading, Sonning, and Woodley.

The cafe would be built in the place of two houses, and be located opposite the existing Majestic Wines, Harrison Family Vets and Pets Corner store.

However, the project proved controversial with neighbours raising fears about intensified traffic and the risk of accidents in the area.

Peter Wheat, who lives nearby, said: “Over the past 20+ years, traffic has increased markedly, due both to increased car ownership, and the increase in retail activity.

“The design of the junction has not kept pace with these changes, and encourages people to travel at speed, and is very popular with the local boy racers.”

He suggested that the speed limit should be reduced and traffic calming measures introduced if the project was ever accepted.

The Starbucks would have come with 48 parking spaces in total and a clockwise drive-thru route.

Ultimately, the project was rejected by Wokingham Borough Council, the planning authority for the area.

Marcia Head, the council’s head of development management, ruled that the loss of the two ‘family-sized’ houses would be unacceptable, and the drive-thru would be ‘incongruously embedded into a residential area’.

However, the project could still go ahead after all as the site owners have appealed against the decision to the government’s planning inspectorate.

What the new Starbucks drive thru in Woodley could look likeWhat the new Starbucks drive thru in Woodley could look like

Wolf Bond, the appointed planning agent for the landowners, argued the Starbucks drive-thru would add to the economy of the area, and noted that consultees such as the council’s highways department had been raised.

A planning agent said: “The scheme represents a well-conceived, high quality commercial development that will provide a number of significant social and economic benefits associated with the occupation of the site by international coffee chain Starbucks.”

A decision on the project will be made by a planning inspector.

You can view the appealed application by typing reference 232620 into Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal.

Furthermore, you can take part in the appeal by typing reference APP/X0360/W/24/3341373 into the planning inspectorate website. Representations must be made by a deadline of Saturday, July 6.