A PLANNING application has been submitted to bring the first drive-thru coffee shop to Inverness.
It is believed the application has been made on behalf of Costa Coffee which recently opened a drive-thru in Fort William.
The application is for the land next to MacDonald’s restaurant at Inshes Retail Park.
The space was previously occupied by a Blockbuster video store but has remained empty and cordoned off since the building’s demolition.
The proposal is for the erection of a class-three restaurant with drive-thru facility, including a takeaway function for the consumption of hot food off the premises.
It also includes car parking and an outdoor seating area.
Inverness South Community Council is currently considering the application.
The agent company name is not supplied within the planning application but a letter submitted by Pritchett planning consultancy as part of the application process stated: "The coffee drive-thru will be a complementary facility in the retail park which already has a number of non-retail facilities such as Inshes Church, children’s nursery and the gym/fitness centre as well as the existing drive-thru unit."
Ward councillor Duncan Macpherson was interested to hear of the proposal and contacted the Fort William Costa drive-thru to learn more.
He believes information he got from there points towards the store being opened by Costa, although they had not yet confirmed this as the Courier went to print.
"I am more comfortable with the idea after speaking to the manager of the Fort William shop and finding out more about opening hours," he said.
"If they keep to their morals and keep the area tidy then that would be a good thing."
The Fort William drive-thru opens from 6am-10pm and customers can sit in from 5am-11pm.
Cllr Macpherson added: "If it is a Costa that has applied then it would be a welcome additional offering for Inverness and the retail park.
"The retail park at Eastfield Way already has both a Starbucks and a Costa."
The neighbouring McDonald’s drive-thru faced severe opposition from local residents when they attempted to extend their opening hours.
Mr Macpherson is keen to hear people’s views on the proposals, but said: "It is a different clientele who would be grabbing a bacon roll or a muffin with their coffee on the way to work. They will not be going head -to-head with McDonalds."
The application is currently awaiting decision and comments can be made online at Highland Council’s website by visiting http://bit.ly/2kd793X