A PLANNING application has been launched by the Irish franchise holders of the Starbucks brand for a ‘drive-thru’ coffee shop at Hillview Retail Park.

The application for planning permission was lodged this week by Raspet Limited, the company of Ciaran and Colm Butler.

The brothers are well-known for operating the Irish franchise for Seattle-headquartered coffee shop giant, Starbucks.

The request details a ‘Drive-Thru Coffee Shop with Erection of Single Storey Coffee Shop’ at the recently-revamped Crumlin Road site.

The move comes after supermarket chain Lidl opened a new store on the site in February.

The site which is owned by Killultagh Estate's Hillview Belfast Limited has already approved a Home Bargains store and day centre for the elderly as tenants.

If approved, the Starbucks would the first in North Belfast beyond the city centre.