Costa Coffee is one step closer to opening a new Bideford cafe after planning permission was passed.

Torridge District Council has granted permission to two applications – one for outside tables and chairs, and the other to change the internals of the building and create a new entrance.

Permission was granted for change of use for the former NatWest bank in Bideford High Street to a cafe in June last year.

The decision to progress the Costa application has been met with disappointment from independent traders in the town.

Earlier this month Kazz Robinson-Lane, who owns Cafe Collective at the opposite end of Bideford High Street, told the Gazette she feared the town was oversaturated with coffee shops.

She said: “It's hard enough between us to make a living, especially as more have opened up in the five years we have been here.

“The way I look at it, we've invested a lot of money into Bideford opening the cafe.

“If we were to go, it's the ripple effect – it wouldn't just affect our customers but all the small suppliers we use too.”

The Gazette contacted Costa Coffee to ask for comment and details of when the cafe would open, but received no response.

Meanwhile in Roundswell, work is well underway to construct the town's fourth Costa Coffee shop at the retail park, next to McDonald's.