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Developers confirm Costa Coffee plans to come to Sandwich town centre in July

Costa Coffee is planning to come to Sandwich town centre, developers have confirmed.

It hopes to create eight to 10 jobs for the town and is set to open in July.

The chain coffee shop intends to open in the former Whites of Kent building at 2-4 New Street.

Whites of Kent is set to be a Costa
Whites of Kent is set to be a Costa

The family-run business had been in the town for 45 years before it finally closed its doors two weeks ago.

But Mark Moorhouse, chairman of Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, says he is “appalled” the chain could be coming to the town and says it would destroy its unique character.

Architecture Design Limited is helping to turn the former ladieswear and fabric shop into a Costa chain coffee house.

Designer Kamlesh Singh has been working with his client, Diljit Brar, the managing director of Goldex Investments, which develops the Costa franchise across the country.

He said: “It’s got to be in line with the whole Costa aesthetic, but it has also got to maintain the old, traditional style of the town, without changing too much of the character.”

Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee

An application has been submitted to Dover District Council for two externally illuminated fascia signs and one externally illuminated hanging sign. This is the first step in securing the coffee chain in Sandwich.

Mr Singh said: “It depends on the council with how long the application takes. We’re not too sure when this will happen.”

This means Mr Singh could not confirm an opening date for the coffee shop, but the wheels are now in motion.

A spokesman for Costa said: "Costa, the nation's favourite coffee shop are pleased to announce that we are opening a brand new store in Sandwich in July, bringing 8-10 new jobs to the local area.

"The store will be run by one of our franchise partners, a local businessperson to the area who will do all that they can to integrate the new store with the local community, getting involved with events; providing the store as a meeting place and helping with fundraising."

Mr Moorhouse, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am appalled that such a large chain could be considered for the centre of Sandwich, and if the application for the illuminated signs were to prevail it would set a precedent that would destroy the unique character of the town.

Whites of Kent in Sandwich is closing its doors after 45 years
Whites of Kent in Sandwich is closing its doors after 45 years

“It has the potential to inflict damaging competition for the existing independent coffee shops that trade in the town centre.

“I sincerely hope that a chain outlet of this type is not permitted to operate in such a prime site in Sandwich town centre.”

He said that Sandwich has been described as an atmospheric market town and he hopes its unique identity with independent shops can be preserved.

Mayor of Sandwich Paul Graeme said: “We have obtained an extension so our views can be made to Dover District Council.”

It will be considered at the next council meeting on Monday, June 1.

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