Cookstown fast food drive-thru plans halted

Robert and Jean Allen at their Killymoon Street home. INMM2113-172ar.
Robert and Jean Allen at their Killymoon Street home. INMM2113-172ar.

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a fast food restaurant at Killymoon Street in Cookstown have been amended, with the drive-thru proposal halted.

An amended application is currently being considered by the Department of the Environment, but it’s understood there are no immediate plans to include a drive-thru facility.

The MAIL recently spoke to Cookstown man Robert Allen who was resigning himself to the fact he’d have to sleep mere feet away from the drive-thru facility at the restaurant.

Robert, aged 55, has severe learning disabilities and lives with his mother, 79-year-old Jean at Killymoon Street, adjacent to the site of the new restaurant.

He lives in a specially adapted area of the house on the ground floor which faces directly onto the proposed site, only feet away from the existing wall.

Robert was a pedestrian when he was knocked down and left brain damaged at the age of 15 and he spent 16 weeks unconscious in the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Robert is unable to climb stairs and relies fully on his adapted facilities.

The Allen family has spent around £20,000 of their own money, in addition to the grant awarded, in making the ground floor hospitable for Robert.

Robert also keeps his mobility scooter in a special shed in the yard which is only a few feet from the existing wall.

His mother Jean’s concerns centre mainly on noise, litter and anti-social behaviour which may arise from the planned fast food unit which will be built on the site formerly occupied by Rodney Cole Motors.

Speaking to the MAIL this week, Jean said the family was ‘no better off’ with the amended plans.

“We have enough take aways in Cookstown. How many more do we need? There are a lot of elderly folks and people with disability living here, so it’s not what we need now,” she said.

If approved the restaurant will add to the growing number of fast food outlets in the town. It will also be situated opposite the McDonald’s at Sweep Road.