HALTON’S Green Party is urging the council to reject plans for a new Starbucks drive-thru at Runcorn Asda, claiming it will increase pollution and congestion and pose a danger to pedestrians.

The LDRS reported recently how an application had been submitted by EG Group for the new coffee shop, which would be built on a section of the supermarket’s existing car park off West Lane.

Blackburn-based EG group is owned by ASDA’s billionaire owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa.

The new 172 sq m store would be single-storey and include a kitchen, seating area and serving window with a drive-thru lane alongside it. Planning documents said the store would create up to 20 new jobs, with 13 being full time positions.

But Warrington and Halton Green Party has called on planners to throw out the proposals.

The group said it would cause 'significant congestion', claiming that customer traffic at the McDonalds drive-thru already spills over onto West Lane.  It also raised fears over pedestrians safety, and said that drive-thru restaurants are ‘notorious for causing local air-pollution’, as cars are left idling as drivers queue for their order.

The party also urged  the council to take action to fight what it said was ‘the litter problem’ caused by drive-thrus. It said a solution would be to require each restaurant to print car registrations on all packaging supplied for takeaway.  It said this would give a route to address anti-social littering in the areas around each restaurant.

Iain Ferguson, Green Party Halton spokesman, said "Allowing another drive-thru restaurant in an already congested area, puts pedestrians, especially children and employees at risk.

“Encouraging more car use for a cup of coffee runs counter to the Council's climate change action plan published just six months ago.

"We call on the council to take action to stop this unsustainable development."

A planning statement submitted in support of the scheme said the drive-thru would expand the range of services available in the town and provide new employment opportunities.

EG Group did not respond to requests for further comment.

No date has yet been set for a decision. The plans can be viewed on the council's online planning portal under the following reference number: 22/00608/FUL