International cafe and donut chain Tim Hortons plan to build at least 25 new drive-thrus across Northern Ireland over the next two years.
The plans were revealed in a new planning application for a drive-thru in Portadown which is before Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.
Tim Horton’s already have three outlets in Northern Ireland and this will be the first outside the Greater Belfast area.
In its supporting statement, Tim Horton’s said it plans to open at least 25 new stores across NI within the next two years.
However the application to build a Tim Hortons Drive Thru in Portadown has been met with strong objection from a children’s play centre.
The proposed cafe and drive thru is earmarked for a car park in Meadow Lane not far from the popular Peter Pan’s Neverland.
The application has been submitted by the SK Group UK which is the parent group for the internationally renowned coffee and donut chain.
It aims to build a single story drive thru cafe with outdoor seating at the car park to the left of Peter Pan’s Neverland and across the road from McDonald’s and the Meadows Retail Park.
The application was welcomed by DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley. He said: “It will bring at least ten new jobs to the area. The plans submitted will mean a 2,400 sq ft cafe and drive thru. It is a great investment for the town.”
A spokesperson for The Meadows Shopping Centre said on social media: “Great news to start 2020 as Tim Hortons applies for planning permission for a Drive Thru on Meadow Lane.
“Huge statement for our town that they have chosen Portadown for their first investment outside Belfast!”
An objection letter was submitted by the owners of Peter Pan’s Neverland which is close to the proposed drive thru.
They raised a number of objections including that the proposed car park at the new outlet has at least 28 fewer parking spaces than the proposal requires.
They also said the layout and allocated car space at the drive thru will result in an overhang at the entrance.
Plus they were concerned at the increase in site traffic at an already busy junction which they believe will increase hazards to both pedestrians and road users - particularly small children walking between the Peter Pan premises and the proposed cafe.
The objection also complained that there may be a huge increase in traffic leaving Sandy Row onto Meadow Lane towards the town centre, adding to ‘already unacceptable queues during peak per