Whilst welcoming plans for a drive-thru coffee shop at Rocks Green, councillors have expressed concern about increased traffic on the Dun Cow junction.

A planning application has been made for a Costa Coffee shop with drive-thru adjacent to Sainsbury’s at Rocks Green.

Outline planning permission was granted in 2017 for a petrol station on the site, but, since the opening of Sainsbury’s there has not been any demand for a petrol filling station.

“The lack of interest ... has led to the parcel of land being under utilised,” says the application. “The site’s strategic location off the A49, and adjacent to the Sainsbury’s foodstore, represents an opportunity for the applicant to develop the site as a drive-thru facility which will serve Sainsbury’s shoppers and pass-by traffic, as well as local residents and stimulate economic development in Ludlow. “ “This site is an eyesore and in need of development,” said Councillor Andy Boddington. “A coffee house would suit the needs of the local community and it is very unlikely to affect town centre footfall.”

However, as Mr Boddington continued, “Residents will be concerned about extra traffic. The Sainsbury’s junction is only 90 metres from the A49 Rocks Green roundabout. Within that distance there is a signal controlled pedestrian crossing. The road here is overly cluttered with street furniture and pedestrian hazards. Much traffic leaves the A49 at too high a speed.”

The transport statement accompanying the application predicts 776 weekday trips and 868 at weekends.

“The majority of the trips will be either ‘pass-by’ trips which are already on the local highway network, or ‘linked’ trips associated with the Sainsburys foodstore,” the statement adds. “Developments of this type generate very low levels of ‘new’ or ‘primary’ vehicle trips.”

That, says Mr Boddington, misses the point – “We are not concerned about extra traffic on the A49 but increased pressure on the A4117 Dun Cow junction, which will be close to or above full capacity.”

He concludes, however that something needs to be built on the site and “A coffee house will attract less traffic than a petrol filling station.”