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Cornwall's first drive-thru pasty shop plans for Helston in ruins

By West Briton  |  Posted: July 19, 2013

By Graeme Wilkinson

Cornwall's first drive-thru pasty shop plans for Helston in ruins
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IT was heralded as Cornwall's answer to McDonald's – but plans for the first ever drive-thru Cornish pasty shop are now in ruins.

The entrepreneur behind the novel venture – which has divided opinion from the start – has confirmed he is no longer carrying on with his dream for a pasty takeaway.

Ken Cocking, originally of Helston and now of Mylor, wanted to build his iconic drive-thru at the old Ward Vauxhall Hilltop Garage, just outside of Helston on the road to Penzance.

But he told the West Briton this week: "I've put the site on the market and that's that.

"We thought there was no point in me going on with it. It didn't go before planning and it's been withdrawn."

He said he had no plans to find an alternative location.

"That was the site we liked. We're Helston people and we were not looking anywhere else," Mr Cocking added.

Mr Cocking had applied for planning permission for the shop but his proposals had attracted opposition.

Many voiced worries about access to the drive-thru from the busy A394.

Helston Town Council recommended the plans be refused, saying it would hit trade in the town, but the scheme caught the imagination of many people, including Cornwall councillor John Keeling.

He said: "I am disappointed. I thought it would have been a fantastic opportunity and an iconic business. We should look to encourage new business opportunities. It is a shame; it certainly captured my imagination."

He said he was now concerned that the Hilltop garage site would fall into ruin.

"I don't want to be left with another derelict site, like the Cornwall Motel next to Ashton," he added.

In May, Mr Cocking had defended the business, saying the site was ideal and would be dedicated to selling Cornish produce. He worked on the project with his sons Aaron and Gavin, and business partner Mark Christophers.

The family made their fortune when their West Cornwall Pasty Company was subject to a management buyout worth £30 million six years ago.

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