Huffpost UK uk

Costa Retreats From Totnes After Town's Campaign Against Chain Coffee Shop

Posted: Updated:
TOTNES HIGH STREET
Totnes locals campaigned against the potential opening of a store in the town | PA

The national coffee chain Costa has pulled out of its plan to open a branch in the town of Totnes, Devon, after locals campaigned against the brand.

A 5,000 signature petition and a campaign by local group Say No To Costa has led the managing director of Costa Coffee, Chris Rogers, to write a letter confirming the move, saying the company "recognised the strength of feeling" in the town.

Totnes has 41 independent tea rooms and coffee outlets, and is extremely proud of its range of independent stores free from chain brands.

Despite have planning permission for the branch, Costa will now ditch plans to open a branch in the town centre.

Totnes MP Dr Sarah Wollaston welcomed the move, along with the Mayor Pruw Boswell, who wrote in the same letter that: "As your MP and Mayor, and speaking on behalf of the people of Totnes, we would like to thank Costa for being prepared to listen to our concerns and showing that they care."

costa coffee totnes

Costa has decided not to open a branch in the town after heavy local opposition

Costa, which has nearly 1,400 branches across the UK, currently has 19 stores in the county, according to the BBC, and employs close around 200 people in Devon.

However, it's not the first time a town has fought off a chain store. Ludlow, Shropshire, led a campaign against the construction of a Tesco on the site of a former livestock market. One campaigner wrote that "many of us saw Tesco as the thin end of the wedge that would take Ludlow closer to the homogeneous town centre that is the new Britain."

In 2011, more than 160 police officers attended to rioting in the Stokes Croft district of Bristol, after protests against the opening of a Tesco Express escalated. Police claimed that 300 people congregated in the area, with a minority throwing stones and bottles at police.

"It's a very hippyish, counter-culture type of area with lots of arts shops," explained Kerry McCarthy MP, whose Bristol East constituency was on the border with the Stokes Croft area.