Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Blow for St James's Street as Starbucks wins planning appeal

I've just heard that US coffee giant Starbucks has won its appeal against residents and the council and will now be allowed lawfully to sell coffee from the former British Bookshops store on St James's Street.

Big Business one - residents and local democracy nil.

If the council doesn't have the right to set its own planning priorities in conservation areas, I do wonder about why so many of us waste so much time on planning matters. They're vitally important, but it seems the ultimate decisions aren't made by elected councillors, residents, or even planning officers - but multinational businesses.

It's a sad day for democracy, and an even sadder one for independent, local traders.

More later when I've read the full inspectors report.

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