UP TO 15 new jobs will be created in Ebbw Vale after plans for a drive-through Costa Coffee shop were given the green light by Blaenau Gwent county councillors.

The application for the coffee shop by Huddersfield-based Commercial Development Projects Limited is for land next to the KFC on Waun-y-Pound Road in Ebbw Vale

It was back in front of councillors at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning Committee at their meeting on Thursday, February 8.

A decision on the application had been postponed at their meeting in January.

At that meeting planning agent Mathew Gray of Montagu Evans LLP, asked for the application to be deferred as he wanted the wording for the application tweaked to include coffee shop.

South Wales Argus: Waun y Pound, Ebbw Vale where a drive through Costa Coffee shop could be built. Picture: Google Street View.Waun y Pound, Ebbw Vale where a drive through Costa Coffee shop could be built. Picture: Google Street View.

The application is for A1 and A3 planning uses which includes restaurants and cafés.

Planning officer Sophie Godfrey told councillors that there was still existing planning permission for a drive-through Greggs bakery at the site, which had been agreed by the committee last year.

Ms Godfrey explained that the proposal was at committee due to the “potential impact” the coffee shop could have on businesses in Ebbw Vale town centre.

Ms Godfrey said that the application is seen as one of “wider public interest.”

On the change of wording, Ms Godfrey said: “It was agreed that the description is amended to include coffee shop as well.

“As the use class would remain unchanged and the description materially the same it was not considered necessary for the application to be withdrawn and re-submitted or for statutory consultees to be re-consulted.

“The application was re-advertised, and neighbouring properties were re-consulted.”

Locals had objected to previous versions of the plans on the grounds of more traffic, loss of privacy, more rubbish which would lead to an increase in the number of rats in the area.

Ms Godfrey said: “I can confirm that no further comments or representations have been received as a result of the re-consultation.”

She recommended councillors approve the proposal.

Planning agent Mr Gray said: “The application in effect comprises an alteration from the intended occupier of Greggs to Costa Coffee owing to a slight difference of planning requirements.

He stressed that approving the application would “not impact” on any other existing Costa Coffee shops in Blaenau Gwent.

Mr Gray said: “The development will deliver 15 full-time equivalent jobs the overwhelming majority will be sourced locally resulting in economic benefit for Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent.”

Cllr David Wilkshire asked whether an odour assessment had been conducted.

This is because he knew of as coffee making business on the Rassau Industrial Estate that created: “a smell that was obnoxious to the site.”

“Have there been any concerns about fumes – as it’s in close proximity to housing,” said Cllr Wilkshire.

Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett pointed out that there is a big difference between a factory that produces coffee beans and a coffee shop.

Cllr Winnett and Cllr Wayne Hodgins both confirmed that no “obnoxious smells” came from other coffee shops they knew.

Ms Godfrey added that there is a condition included in the planning permission that: details of fumes extraction “to combat any smells” has to be submitted to the council by the applicant and approved.

Councillors unanimously approved the application.