A new Tim Horton’s drive-thru in Lurgan will now go ahead after planning approval has formally been given.
Officials have been considering the proposals – exclusively revealed by Armagh I – late last year.
The application had been included and removed from the agenda at the last planning committee meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
It had subsequently been listed as being subject to pre-decision resolution of issues.
Now all that must be resolved has been resolved in the eyes of planning officials who have now signed off on the new development, to be located “north of Millennium Way”.
The approval comes despite a number of objections having been received.
As we revealed last December, the world famous coffee and donut chain plans for a stand alone development, built on what is currently described as a “brownfield site”. It is expected that in the region of 10 new jobs would be created as a result.
The Lurgan drive-thru would be one of the larger of the franchise’s outlets, offering a floorspace of around 3,500 sq ft, for dining both on and off the premises.
The application had been submitted by Curleys Properties Ltd, which is based in Belfast, the applicant which had sought permission for the Home Bargains outlet.
The drive-thru will sit “immediately east” of the budget retailer’s new Lurgan superstore.
Among the objections received is one from a nearby resident who had instructed her solicitor to write to ABC Council voicing objections.
Among the reasons are the belief that it will devalue her property and “block visibility and light”, increase traffic and pedestrian numbers, pollution increase, possibility for smells emanating from the premises, and “increase in vermin likely to occur when you have such an outlet operating”.
Approval has now been granted for the Tim Hortons outlet, which will boast two drive-thru lanes. They will have speakers to place orders on the outer, and these will merge into one for collections.
There is also an external seating area planned for customers.
Room is also left for the possible erection of ‘totem’ style advertising to meet the tenant’s needs.
The actual location is given in the submission to council as “vacant lands north of Millennium Way (approximately 160m west of Gilford Road /Banbridge Road and Flush Place roundabout) and south of Shaerf Drive (approximately 60m south east of Queens Walk)”.
There would be “minor amendments” to previously approved access arrangements for the overall site. This is to construct an internal roundabout to help with traffic flow.
During the statutory consultations, there were no objections received from NI Water, NIE, Environmental Health and DfI Roads, as well as DAERA, in relation to drainage and water and natural environment.
According to the professional planners report, the new outlet would comprise a kitchen, customer area, toilets and associated parking facilities.
It reveals there would be 20 parking spaces to the south of the site, with a one-way system in operation throughout. Customers will queue, place their order and collect from the front of the building.
Addressing local concerns, the report states: “A two metre high acoustic screen fence will be erected along the western and northern boundaries between the site and the rear of the adjacent residential properties.”
The report also dismissed concerns of town centre traders of a potential loss of trade.
It states: “While it is recognised the proposal is outside the town centre, it represents the creation of a drive-thru restaurant.
“This proposal will not represent the creation of new retail floorspace outside of the town centre and as such will have no adverse impact on the town centre.”
Primary access will be a new access of Millennium Way.
The report states: “The drive-thru road layout wraps around the building with the order point kiosk on the rear elevation facing the rear gardens of Trasna Way. The parking will be to the south of the building.
“The building to the front of the site and associated planting presents a positive introduction into the streetscape in lieu of the vacant area of stoned land.”
In terms of litter, there will be a bin storage area to the rear of the building and litter bins within the parking area, which officials believe represent “adequate facilities”.
In granting approval, a number of conditions have been laid down.
As part of these, opening hours have been limited to between 8am and 10pm daily.