Is Starbucks eyeing up new coffee shop in Essex town?

PUBLISHED: 08:02 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:26 30 May 2010

A DEAL to sell off Uttlesford District Council s offices in Great Dunmow s High Street to the highest bidder is gathering pace. And some sources are already claiming that the 17th century building could be turned into a Starbucks coffee shop. Speaking at

A DEAL to sell off Uttlesford District Council's offices in Great Dunmow's High Street to the highest bidder is gathering pace.

And some sources are already claiming that the 17th century building could be turned into a Starbucks coffee shop.

Speaking at a meeting of the Dunmow traffic management group, town councillor Wendy Barron, said: "I have heard that the old district council buildings will become a Starbucks. Apparently Uttlesford District Council have already accepted one bid."

Although an official council spokesman confirmed that some bids had been received it was not possible to confirm that Starbucks could be moving into town.

"Negotiations with bidders are ongoing and we do not want to comment on the matter, not until a contract is finalised and signed," said a council spokesman.

Once a deal has been done, the council said it would send out a formal release indicating who the successful bidder is.

Other sources in the town had also revealed to the Broadcast that they understood that a Slug and Lettuce pub would be located there.

However, that has been flatly denied by The Bay Restaurant Group, the company that owns the chain of pubs.

A spokesman said: "We have no intention of buying the property or locating one of our pubs or bars there."

The council offices have been up for sale for over 18 months, and in that time have attracted a lot of interest from various parties.

Some of the bigger housing developers have expressed interest and last May Dunmow Town Council were considering a move to the building in a last ditch bid to save the charities that currently operate inside.

Speaking at the time, charity leaders were very upset that the offices had been sold at all - because it forced them to look elsewhere. One of them was the Community Information Centre. It moved to the new library, in White Street, when it opened earlier this year.

The Broadcast had been in contact with the company that plans and builds coffee houses on behalf of Starbucks, the Pegasus Planning Group - but at this stage the company has neither confirmed nor denied the rumours.

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