PLANS have been unveiled to restore a branch of national chain Costa Coffee to Chepstow just weeks after its outlet closed, reports Twm Owen. 

Coffee lovers were shocked in November at the sudden closure of the Costa Coffee shop in Beaufort Square due to issues with its lease, and possession of the building was taken by a property firm. 

However Laurentia Capital Ltd, which had been the tenants of the now-vacated coffee shop, has applied for change of use planning permission to open a new franchise of the chain at a nearby disused fashion store. 

The firm, which operates as a small business under a franchise from Costa, hopes to open in the former Select shop at 24-25 High Street, (pictured above) which is understood to have been empty since 2019. 

According to the application the firm wanted to relocate to larger premises. When the Beaufort Square shop closed a notice in its window said the lease had expired and hadn’t been renewed. 

Laurentia has applied for change of use planning permission, from A1 retail to A3 which covers food and drink outlets, and to make minor internal and external alterations to the grade II listed building, including new signs. 

The application states it should be recommended for approval as “the proposal represents development that will be bring a vacant unit back into use and that is compatible with the existing shops and services in the town centre. The heritage impact on both the listed building itself and wider conservation area is negligible.” 

The application also includes the ground floor area of 23 High Street and there are flats above the building and the building was listed as it retains its Georgian character. 

Customers will be able to eat in or take out food and drink they purchase but there will be no waiter service or cooking facilities, other than for toasting sandwiches, and all food will be delivered daily to the shop. 

It’s proposed the shop will open from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5.30pm on Saturdays and 8.30am to 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays. 

The applicants say they intend to carry out all the required work once planning and listed building consent is granted so that they can open the shop as soon as possible. 

It’s anticipated the business will create three full time jobs and seven part time posts.