Friday 4 November 2011

attack of the Costa Monga

attack of the costa monga, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

Bristol City Council is considering taking action against a branch of Costa Coffee, which is trading on Whiteladies Road despite having no permission for change of use from newsagent (the former business) to cafe. Meanwhile, the franchise holder, Stuart Montgomery, is developing another premises on Gloucester Road, again without planning permission. As Richard Leonard, who organised a petition against the Gloucester Road development, said; "Apart from the fact people don't want them in Gloucester Road, they are blatantly ignoring the wishes of local people and the council."

I was down at the Central Library yesterday, for the monthly Poetry Can lunchtime session. Called in at the Occupy Bristol site to drop off a bit of firewood; every little helps, after all. Later, talking about the Occupy Bristol site with someone I always thought of as a bit of an old Tory, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was supportive of the movement. Which is heartening.

Alana Farrell read some work-in-progress, a ballad about the Dale Farm evictions, using quotes from the protagonists. I learned that a neighbour to Dale Farm, who is apparently active in the anti-traveller campaign, is himself on an illegally-developed site, though one which has been granted retrospective planning permission. An option which does not appear to have been considered by Basildon Council in the case of Dale Farm.


  1. I could go on at length about abuses of the planning system based on my experiences of observing a bent-as-a-three-pound-coin rural district council planning department. But it would get ranty, and that's never good.

    One would hope that Costa might pull the franchise from someone who brings their brand into disrepute.

  2. Hot diggety. What shall I do with my Costa loyalty card now? Is Costa a Bad Thing in its entirety, or is it just this Bristol franchisee that needs stopping? Actually it has not gone unnoticed that Costa is expanding exponentially. Within living memory, franchises have popped up in my local Tesco store-of-shame, in my local Odeon fanatical-about-film, and in my local Exxon Valdiz petrol station, joining the longer-established Costa on the High street. The thing is, their chocolate twists are achingly delicious, and one is reluctant to apply sanctions for that reason alone! It used to be that patronising Costa was a no-brainer simply because they were not Starbucks and Starbucks was a Bad Thing. Now, well. Where I live, there are two indie alternative coffee shops that are to be preferred anyway, though one of those has just last week taken a turn for the worse: the new management have installed a union jack doormat (ugh). Leaving aside the symbolism of wiping your feet on the national banner (the US probably has laws against it), I fear that the place may become a haunt of adherents of the English Defence League, well-known for keeping a welcome in these parts.

  3. I don't use Costa because they don't offer cinnamon for sprinkling on your cappucino. (Caffe Nero do)

  4. I don't think we have them here - yet.

    As my Dad would say "it"s not what you know, it's who you know...."

  5. I agree with Jenny.
    Have you seen Rima's latest posting at The Hermitage?
    very interesting.

  6. Truth to tell, I don't go to coffee houses at all because they're so expensive, and I make better coffee... hopefully if enough noise is made about this Costa business in Bristol, the Council may be shamed into taking action...

    Thanks for that link, Gwynneth; I enjoyed it. Have you read Juliette de Bairacli-Levy? Her Travellers In The New Forest is wonderful, and I think it may appeal to you.

  7. "Wanderers", not "Travellers". Whoops

  8. gz, thank you for leading us to The Hermitage :-)

  9. you're welcome!
    Is Wanderers in the New Forest an older book?

    I used to live near the Forest..I seem to remember reading a book of that title or similar from my grandmother's shelves...
    will investigate further :-)