Clare vows to fight on as Costa plans are passed

A FRUSTRATED Weston trader claims council chiefs are killing her business after being struck a double blow – but now she is fighting back.

Clare Morris, owner of Coco Browns caf� on Big Lamp Corner, says she feels independent traders are being driven out by North Somerset Council after the authority gave the green light to Costa Coffee setting up a branch in High Street.

The authority has allowed the coffee giant to change the use of part of the former Burton menswear shop, despite a petition with nearly 60 signatures and a further 50 letters of objection against the plans being handed to planners.

The council has also told Clare that she must put up barriers around her caf�’s outside seating area, which will cost nearly �2,000, by April 1.

Clare told the Mercury that she is boycotting the new rules because she simply cannot afford it.

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She said: “The council doesn’t take into consideration the small independent businesses and it will squeeze us out which is really sad.”

Clare said she feels ‘outraged’ by the council’s decision to approve Costa Coffee’s plans, especially because it recently turned down proposals for the national company to open a branch at Flowerdown Retail Park – saying it would impact on town centre trade.

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A council spokesman said the authority was supportive of small businesses but the barriers must be put up for safety reasons and enforcement action will be taken if traders do not comply.

She added: “We appreciate the cost involved in putting the barriers in place and have agreed to allow the businesses to put advertising on them.”

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