Plans to turn the old KFC in Drumahoe into a gospel hall were given the green light by the grace of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday despite a dispute over a putative right of way at the former fast food outlet.
Members of the committee approved an application by the City of Londonderry charitable trust, which has been lodged on behalf of a congregation of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, to convert the old KFC into a place of praise.
This was in spite of arguments from Rosemary Chestnutt, a representative of the Carruthers family, who own a neighbouring property at 67 Glenshane Road, that a proposed perimeter wall at the prospective new gospel hall, would breach a prescriptive right of the way the family have enjoyed across what was once a petrol station forecourt for the last 36 years.
Andrew Tate, an agent for the applicant, countered this by noting that the application was fully compliant with planning law and the requirements of statutory consultees and that it also respected the Carruthers’ property rights. The committee, while acknowledging the Carruthers’ concerns, approved the application, having been advised by the city solicitor, Philip Kingston that the right of way issue was a civil matter outwith the committee’s jurisdiction.