Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Settlements: Cookstown Town Centre
Cookstown has been an important centre for trade and commerce since 1628, when Dr Cooke obtained the rights for the town to hold a market under royal charter from King Charles I.
The town centre continues to provide the best location for retail and office uses due to its ready accessibility by a variety of modes of transport, for all sections of the community. It is both accessible by foot to many of the residents of the town and acts as the focus for the local bus network operating from the Ulsterbus Station at Molesworth Street. It is also at the hub of the road network and contains a number of public car parks and parking spaces.
For shopping purposes, Cookstown provides a convenient and compact centre with a range of retail outlets complemented by restaurants, cafes, bars and services. The town centre also contains hotel and tourist facilities, a cinema and an Arts Centre. The main shopping street is the historic core of the town and benefits from a number of attractive buildings and terraces. The appearance of the centre has been improved via an award winning environmental improvement scheme that has introduced an avenue of trees to the main street.
In order to protect the vitality and viability of the town centre, a number of measures and proposals are adopted to retain and improve its attractiveness, accessibility and amenity. These consist of the designation of:
- A town centre inside which a number of Opportunity Sites is designated (see Plan Policies RSO 1 and RSO 4 and key site requirements);
- A Primary Retail Core inside which new non-retail uses at ground floor level will be controlled in accordance with the provisions of PPS 5: Retailing and Town Centres (see Plan Policy RSO 2);
- A Secondary Shopping Frontage where favourable consideration will normally be given to the introduction of non-retail uses at ground floor level provided the use complements the retail function of the centre (see Plan Policy RSO 3);
- Town centre public car parking facilities which are to be protected (see Plan Policy TRAN 3);
- An Area of Townscape Character within which the Department will use its powers to protect and, where appropriate, enhance the character and appearance of the area based on the traditional street pattern and individual buildings of merit (see Plan Policy CON 7 and guidance on Cookstown's Area of Townscape Character);
- Local Landscape Policy Areas where features of intrinsic environmental value will be protected (see Plan Policy CON 2 and Local Landscape Policy Areas in Cookstown); and
- Protected Town Centre Housing areas where existing housing will be protected from pressure for non-residential uses (see Plan Policy HOUS 2).