Campaigners in Bakewell have gathered more than 6,000 signatures from people opposed to Costa Coffee opening a cafe the town.
The Bakewell Against Costa campaign was launched in late December 2012 after the coffee franchise successfully appealed a Peak Park planning refusal.
While an official opening date is yet to be confirmed, Costa Coffee now has full planning permission to convert the former Bennetts store on King Street, Bakewell, into a 54-seater cafe.
Despite this, the campaign group remains positive that they can persuade Costa Coffee’s chief executive, Chris Rogers, not to go ahead with the plans.
Nigel Johns, Bakewell Against Costa spokesman, said: “We are really happy with the amount of people that have backed this campaign. It is testament to the immense level of opposition there is in Bakewell, not only with traders and residents, but with visitors – who provide essential revenue for our town.”
Nigel added that the Bakewell campaign had already gathered more signatures than the successful No To Costa campaign in Totnes, Devon – which collected 5,749 signatures in three months and persuaded Costa to pull out, even though full planning permission had been granted.
But unlike Totnes, Bakewell Against Costa cannot get Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin or Bakewell Town Council to support their campaign.
A Costa Coffee spokesperson said the company “would never change its plans purely on the basis of a petition” adding that “we are keen to push ahead with our plans and open as soon as we can”.
The spokesperson said: “It’s important for people to remember during these difficult times we represent a success story for British business. We strongly believe that Costa has a huge role to play in local investment and employment in Bakewell and other communities up and down the country. Costa employs over 11,000 people in the UK and this year alone will be creating an additional 1,500 jobs.”
To back the Bakewell Against Costa campaign, visit www.twitter.com/NoCostaNo and follow the link.