World's first pasty drive-through is a step closer to reality
THE WORLD'S first drive-through pasty emporium has taken a step closer to becoming a reality at Helston.
A father-and-son team, who made millions selling their Cornish pasty firm five years ago, have applied for planning permission to open a takeaway on the outskirts of the town.
The new venture by Ken Cocking, his sons Aaron and Gavin, and business partner Mark Christophers, would redevelop the old Ward Vauxhall Hill Top garage later this year.
They have formally applied to Cornwall Council for change of use consent to allow manufacture of Cornish pasties, and retail of Cornish produce, including a pasty drive-through takeaway and associated amenity area.
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Helston mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby welcomed the "good news", saying: "Any business is better than what's there at the moment, which is nothing. I hope it will bring people to Helston and to the town centre after they have bought their pasties.
"It is going to be unique and the first of its kind. I can't see it making a retail impact in the town centre, as there are already four to five different outlets in Helston."
Helston town centre manager Jonathan Birkett gave a more cautious welcome, voicing concerns over the impact the drive-through could have on independent traders.
He said: "Any new business is good news for the town, especially in situations where we have had empty premises for a quite a long time.
"My only concern is that, as it sits on the border of the town centre where we have a number of small businesses, a drive-through may draw business away. Hopefully, the right balance will be found."
He went on: "It will most definitely give the town a boost and shows we are moving towards the right direction and hopefully it's the first of many new businesses to come to Helston."
Mr Cocking and his family, who have been looking for a suitable site for a decade, made their fortune when their West Cornwall Pasty Company was subject to a management buyout worth £30 million five years ago.
They stumbled on the site for the drive-through last year.
Mr Cocking bought the 2.25-acre site, worth £450,000, and has instructed Truro architects Laurence Associates to draw up plans.
Mr Cocking, who owns a home in Mylor and now lives in Ascot, was not available to comment this week.
The application is expected to be determined on April 10.