Costa Coffee looks set to come to Thames Ditton after Elmbridge Council granted planning permission.

The building at 12 High Street was leased to Wine Rack in the early 2000s, and a newsagent for a little over a year beginning in 2012.

The application sought permission to change the use of the building from retail to a café.

Public objections to the application repeatedly claimed a chain moving into the area would be detrimental to the village’s existing independent coffee shops.

One resident said: “It would be of detriment to local traders – it’s not needed. Big business is killing local high street shops. Please don't encourage it, at any cost.”

Another pleaded for the council to “keep Thames Ditton a quaint village with independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.”

Council guidelines state it would be preferable for shops to be kept as shops in Thames Ditton and other places, but despite the premises being shown to 15 retailers, nobody wanted to use the building for that purpose.

The application was put in by Gerry’s Offshore Incorporation UK, the country’s second largest franchisee of Costa Coffee.

Supporting comments referred to the unit having been empty for so long, with one saying “anything is better than an empty shop”.

Another resident said: “While Costa Coffee as a brand may not be a preference to some, I see that each of the existing establishments offers something unique and I'll continue to support each of them, as I'm sure will many others.

“I believe we all want each of the shops in the village to thrive and will collectively do what's necessary to ensure they do.”