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Totnes wins Costa coffee battle

By This is Devon  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

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Totnes is celebrating after a national coffee chain withdrew plans to open a branch thanks to people power.

An insurrection was launched this summer when Costa Coffee applied for planning permission to bring an outlet to Totnes.

Several thousand people in the Devon town signed a petition against Costa and pledged to boycott the new branch if it opened, warning that Totnes risked become a “clone town”.

The notocosta.co.uk website was also launched and campaigners enlisted the support of award-winning author Joan Brady, a former resident.

The granting of planning permission by South Hams District Council was greeted by a 150-strong group of placard-wielding demonstrators who marched through Totnes’s streets in protest.

The town has 41 independent coffee outlets.

In face of opposition, Costa has decided not to open the store on the High Street.

The decision was announced in a letter circulated to local residents by Costa and co-signed by local MP Dr Sarah Wollaston and Pruw Boswell, Mayor of Totnes.

In a statement posted on the notocosta.co.uk website, campaigners said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear from Costa Coffee’s managing director Chris Rogers of their decision to withdraw from Totnes.

“We are impressed Costa has taken the time to understand our town, its economy and the 5,700 people who signed the petition asking Costa to reconsider.”

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  • iseveryidused  |  December 01 2012, 12:38AM

    Of course, the ultimate irony about this is, if they had been successful, it would have been REALLY busy. Because, actually many people DO want a Costa.

  • Appyjack  |  October 30 2012, 3:56PM

    Well said Grapenut - that shop must have been empty for nigh on 2 years now and has just become an eyesore at the bottom of town, with the windows covered in fly-posters and tramps sleeping/urinating in the doorway. Still the folk of Totnes obviously prefer this as nobody else wants the place - it says it all about Totnes people!

  • robocop1982  |  October 27 2012, 12:52AM

    Costa use coffee beans produced from cheap labour in poor countries. COsta have nothing to do with the coffee beans or where they come from. I've heard the coffee bean trade is very bad for locals in turmoil countries.

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  • cherrie54  |  October 26 2012, 1:20AM

    Well done totnes for the costa issue. But not true about original arts crafts shops. Two of those so called original shops sells mass produced beads from china/ india/ Two others sells only kath kitsen to be found in any high street. Even the sweet shop selling old fashioned sweets sell the same as can be found online and shops springing up all over the country. The toy shop sells mass produced toys from china. The so called original glass and pottery can be found in most good qaulity shops. These are just a few shops which can be found on any high street. So not exactly individual . Quaint excentric individuals in the town yes but that's as far as it goes.

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  • CommonSense13  |  October 25 2012, 7:01PM

    This just proves that Totnes is full of hippies. First they had their own money, then the Occupy protesters set up camp there, and now this. Stop strangling our economy with your own useless and ignorant ideals. Let them move in so people can work and our economy can grow.

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  • Grapenut  |  October 25 2012, 6:09PM

    Re: Costa pulls out of Totnes. So people power finally won through. That makes a change. But, as Kerswellpalm says, we're not talking a massive supermarket chain here, and there's still an empty shop in Totnes to fill.

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  • Kerswellpalm  |  October 25 2012, 5:55PM

    There are loads of chains in Totnes. Personally I think Costa is overpriced, and I don't go there, but so what. I do love all of the independent shops, but we're not talking a massive supermarket. It just leaves another empty shop. It would have hardly been competition for existing shops. I really think that people should have more important things to worry about. Most towns are desperate to take any stores these days.

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  • spindleshanks  |  October 25 2012, 5:33PM

    Fat Lemons for me every time.

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  • Ant__  |  October 25 2012, 1:45PM

    Well done Totnes. Costa coffee tastes filthy.

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