Campaigners in a Cornish town appear to have failed in their bid to prevent the opening of a Costa Coffee branch in a vacant shop.
Independent traders in Launceston hoped to emulate the success of Totnes, which won its fight to keep out Costa two years ago.
However, they suffered a blow to their campaign when Cornwall Council approved the application by eight votes to three on Monday.
Like the Totnes campaigners before them, opponents of Costa fear that the opening of an outlet in the town will be damaging to independent coffee shops and to the spirit of Launceston.
In the face of overwhelming opposition, Costa finally abandoned its plans for the Devon town despite winning planning approval from South Hams District Council. Now traders in Launceston are hoping for a similar outcome.
“The passion is very much there and matches the strength of feeling in Totnes but it is very difficult for a small place like Launceston because we don’t have the numbers,” an independent coffee shop owner told the Western Morning News.
Others appear to have conceded defeat and remain positive that they can compete with Costa and that Launceston can retain its independent spirit.
A spokesperson for Costa stressed the company’s commitment to supporting local high streets and said that a number of locals were keen to see the empty shop regenerated.
Assuming that Costa now presses ahead with its plans, the Broad Street branch is expected to create around a dozen jobs in the town.