A CONTROVERSIAL new coffee shop will be opened today in the face of mixed feelings among villagers.

Councillor Lynda Hyde, former mayor of Brighton and Hove, will cut the ribbon to greet Costa Coffee’s arrival in High Street, Rottingdean at 10am.

But not everyone is happy with the national multiple opening in a street of independent retailers and cafes, with many venting their frustration on social media.

The branch is run by British based Goldex Investment Ltd, which has some 50 Costa franchises in London and the South East.

Cllr Hyde said: “When they asked me if I would open it, I had to think whether this would be detrimental to other traders or will it be beneficial to the High Street.

“Because we need to do all we can to get as much footfall as we can in the High Street.

“So I did think about it but my view is Costa is likely to encourage more people into the High Street and therefore benefit the other traders.

“And, they’ve done up an empty building which was empty for over a year, which again is beneficial to the High Street.”

But some residents and traders are furious.

Juliet Ryan, who owns the Open Art Cafe in the centre of Rottingdean in Nevill Road, said: “I feel quite strongly about it, a lot of the traders do.

“It’s something we didn’t want.

“Nobody knew they were coming, we didn’t see any signs or anything about the planning application.

“If we’d known, we’d have protested like they did in Totnes in Devon where they stopped a Costa coming.

“We’re a historical village, we don’t need a massive franchise coming in.

“It’s already crippled a lot of small business.”

Residents took to social media and online forums to complain that the chain outlet was an unwelcome addition to the traditional high street.

Kate Sandford, of Rottingdean, said: “Had to say something about this as it made me so angry.

“Costa don’t need to be in a small village. They make enough money globally as it is.

“Leave the small town alone and stop crushing small local businesses that work hard to pay the bills.

“I loved working in a cafe as a teenager in Rottingdean and it’s sick to think the individuality of British tea rooms is being pushed over by corporate franchises.”