An artist's impression of the proposed new Starbucks drive through at Ocean Plaza in Southport

A brand new Starbucks drive through coffee shop could open at Ocean Plaza in Southport, next to Southport Pier. 

The firm has submitted a planning application to Sefton Council for the construction of a coffee shop with drive through facility, external seating area, and alterations to car parking.

The new facility would be situated in the car opposite the existing McDonald’s drive through, losing 28 existing car parking spaces. 

It would be the first drive-through Starbucks in Southport, joining the Starbucks outlet which already exists on Lord Street in Southport town centre. 

Southport Pleasureland owner Norman Wallis recently gained planning approval to construct a new coffee shop, ice cream parlour and station terminal at the entrance to Southport Miniature Railway nearby. 

It represents further investment in Ocean Plaza, which saw the closure of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito during the Covid pandemic. 

In its application to the council, The Harris Partnership said: “The site is in a prominent location off Marine Parade and benefits from the backdrop of Southport Pier. 

“Whilst forming part of the immediate setting of the pier, in its current use as a car park, the site does not contribute to the way in which the significance or special interest of the listed structure is appreciated and understood.

“It is evident from the ‘site assessment’ that various opportunities and constraints exist which need to be incorporated when formulating a design for the development of the proposed site. The main principles have been identified as:  

  • There is potential to activate an under-utilised site which benefits from a prominent position.  
  • The site could be developed to provide a new local amenity for visitors to Ocean Plaza.  
  • There is an opportunity to further enhance a successful leisure/tourist destination, complementing the existing offer and providing physical and economic regeneration.  
  • There is an opportunity to provide a development that responds to its unique surroundings with a sensitive and positive design approach that respects the constraints presented by the adjoining heritage assets, i.e. the listed pier and the conservation area.”

At present there are 79 car parking spaces (including 2 DDA). The proposed redevelopment will result in a reduction to 28 spaces (including 2 DDA).

Starbucks has been in discussion with Sefton Council’s planning department about the scheme since 2019, and following discussions and advice has now submitted a formal planning application. 

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