Plans unveiled for Westhill Starbucks

Plans for a Starbucks drive-thru at Westhill are facing opposition
Plans for a Starbucks drive-thru at Westhill are facing opposition

A new 24-hour drive-thru Starbucks could be built at Westhill despite massive opposition.

Plans for the coffee shop will be discussed next Tuesday by Garioch Area Committee when it will hear that 50 objections have been lodged against the out-of-town development.

Leading the objections is Westhill and Elrick Community Council which is opposing on the grounds that it is a deviation against Aberdeenshire’s local development plan, demonstrates a lack of safe pedestrian crossing across the busy A944 and fails to apply a ‘town centre first’ approach.

Davaar Property Group is behind the plans at Arnhall Business Park and say at least 20 full-time and part-time jobs would be created if the development gets the green light.

Its agents Lippe Architects say the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on the centre of Westhill but would bring forward development of a long vacant area of ground.

They say it will “enhance the character of the area and the entrance to the town” and will help make the remaining employment units at Arnhall more attractive to potential occupiers.

Recommending approval, the council’s infrastructure services director, Stephen Archer, says the reason for departure from policy is that the proposal involves a “relatively modest area of employment land” and a development that cannot be accommodated in a town centre location.

He adds: “The use will generate jobs and will be complementary to the existing mix of uses on the wider business park.”

But community council secretary David Ritchie claims the land was allocated for “high quality employment” and not designated for a café and fast food drive thru.

Many of the objectors have also raised concerns over access to and from the site off the A944 and in particular the issue of Westhill Academy pupils trying to navigate the traffic at lunch-time and after school.

The plans do not included a pedestrian crossing or any form of traffic calming measures.