Woodley Town Council will have to ‘wait and see’ whether a decision to block a new Starbucks in the town can go ahead.

The town council opposed a plan to build the Starbucks at The Point on the A4 London Road, which was blocked by Wokingham Borough Council last year. But developer TA Fisher Holdings has appealed to the government’s planning inspectorate to overturn the refusal.

Woodley Town Council’s planning committee chairman Bill Soane said it would now have to ‘wait and see’ the outcome, having raised safety concerns last year.

He told the committee on June 18: “We voiced concern over the access and egress of that site. That did get agreed with by the borough but there is an appeal against it so we will wait and see the outcome.”

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Woodley Town Council raised its objection to the scheme in November last year. It said it was worried that the drive-thru would cause traffic to back up around the gyratory on London Road.

The local authority also raised fears that traffic into the site might increase the risk of accidents, and that the new drive-thru would have a negative impact on houses next door.

Planning officers at Wokingham Borough Council then refused the plans in January this year. They agreed the drive-thru would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on the area as it would mean building a large commercial building on existing gardens – and would be directly next to other people’s homes.

The council officers added that the high level of traffic and business would ‘adversely impact’ residents’ enjoyment of their gardens.

But TA Fisher says planning officers didn’t raise these concerns in discussions with them before the application was submitted.

Council officers also said the demolition of two houses to make way for the drive-thru would be an unacceptable loss of homes at a time when it needs to show it can supply new ones over the next five years.

But planning consultants Woolf Bond say the borough council had ‘missed the opportunity’ to benefit from the drive-thru. It said the council had ‘failed to grasp’ that there are few other places in the borough for a drive-thru, and that it would be necessary to demolish the houses to allow space for HGV deliveries.

The consultants’ statement to the planning inspectorate said the council 'focus has always been on the loss of two dwellings, with little acknowledgement of the genuine benefits for this proposal'.

The appeal is still pending a decision by the planning inspectorate, which has not yet set a date for the hearing.