NATIONAL coffee giant Costa Coffee could be set to return to Ludlow, with developers eyeing up a vacant plot near a supermarket, according to local councillors.

Costa’s former store in King Street has been vacant since the firm moved out of the town last year, but according to leaked proposals a scheme may now be brought forward to build a new store on vacant land next to the town’s Sainsbury’s store, originally intended to be a petrol filling station.

The plan is expected to include a drive-through, with more details expected to emerge when a full planning application is brought forward over the next few weeks.

Ludlow East councillor Tracey Huffer said she welcomed a proposal for the “eyesore” plot on the north-east fringe of the town, just off the A49.

“A coffee retailer will suit the location. It’s next to Sainsbury’s and people shopping there might wish to grab a coffee. Costa Coffee will have its own car parking spaces so is unlikely to add to pressure on Sainsbury’s car park. There will be several EV charging points,” she said.

“There will also be a drive through facility for motorists who want a coffee on the go or take it to work.

“I am hopeful that the proposed Costa Coffee will become a meeting place for residents in Rocks Green and the new development of Henley Grange. All we have in the area right now is the Nelson Inn, an excellent venue but not everyone wants to meet in a pub.

“We have a lot to learn about this application. Things like the open hours and where extractors are located will need to be looked at in detail.”

Ludlow North Councillor Andy Boddington agreed that it could be a positive proposal for the site, and said the original plan for a petrol filling station was not needed for Ludlow.

“Generally, this is good news,” he said.

“There’s plenty of petrol stations in the area and we’re going to increasingly be going electric, so I think it’s a good use for the site.

“We need to have development on this site, and if we had a takeaway restaurant here instead it would be unsuitable, so it’s the best use for the land.”

Costa Coffee has been contacted for a comment.