Town grinds out result over Costa
THE town of Totnes, that prides itself on its independent shops, is celebrating after a national coffee chain withdrew plans to open a branch.
A very British insurrection was launched this summer when Costa Coffee applied for planning permission to bring an outlet to Totnes.
Several thousand people in the 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 is well known for its "alternative" image and has a resident community of writers, therapists, musicians and herbalists, as well as 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."