PLANS to convert a former Carphone Warehouse unit into a drive-thru Starbucks have been granted permission.

Proposals for the vacant unit 14 at Ravenhead Retail Park were sent to St Helens Council for approval in the spring.

The application, submitted by Corona Vulcan Ravenhead Limited, stated: “Unit 14 was previously occupied as a retail unit by Carphone Warehouse, but has been vacant since March 2020.

“The planning application seeks to change the use of Unit 14 in response to interest from Starbucks to take the unit and convert it to a drive-thru café/restaurant”.

It added: “Unit 14 would be occupied by Starbucks as a drive-thru café/restaurant.

“Starbucks have agreed terms with the applicant, who are the sole owner of the unit.

“No increase in floorspace is proposed. The external alterations to the units would be limited”.

The plans added that a drive-thru lane would be created in the car parking area to the south of the unit, which would require the removal of 13 existing car parking spaces.

Meanwhile, 20 parking spaces would be retained in the area for customers and a further space created adjacent to the two disabled bays to the front.

The proposed drive-thru premises would be open between 6am and 11pm every day.

Plans said it is anticipated that the drive-thru would employ 25 staff in total, made up of 15 full-time and 10 part-time positions.

In a report recommending the plans for approval case officer Natasha Ayres said: "The retail park already has well established commercial uses similar to the one subject of this application.

"The character and settings of the local area would remain unaltered meaning the proposal complies with policy CP1 of the Core Strategy".

It was added: "Given the application site is located within the a well accessed retail park with plenty of parking and with a range of public transport opportunities, it is unlikely that the change of use will lead to a significant impact on the highway network".

The plans were given formal approval.