Southam Kebab Van gets permission to stay by Stratford District Council
Kebabs will continue to be served from a lay-by on a busy Warwickshire road after concerns over light pollution, noise and safety were dismissed by councillors.
But members of Stratford District Council’s licensing panel did agree to tackle a litter problem which could not be attributed to roadside food vans.
There had been calls to revoke the licence of Abdullah Palas, owner of the Southam Kebab Van, after complaints were received by the district council.
The panel heard that Mr Palas had bought his catering van after being granted permission but within a week, a neighbour had complained about the impact of the evening trade from the layby on A425 Daventry Road, near Napton.
Licensing officer Janine Ray explained: “On January 28, shortly after Mr Palas started trading, we received a complaint from Perry Stevens who lives opposite the lay-by. The main causes of concern were light pollution, the increased noise pollution, a loss of privacy, personal safety concerns and concerns that his home may have dropped in value as a result of a trader being in the area – confirmed by emails from estate agents.”
She added that complaints followed from the owner of the adjacent field regarding litter and from district councillors Cllr Nigel Rock and Cllr Andy Crump who were concerned about safety.
Ms Ray said: “There is an historic and ongoing issue of litter in this lay-by. Mr Palas says he complies by providing a bin for his customers and taking away his litter.”
Mr Stevens explained some of the problems that had blighted his home. He said: “Our location is very rural. Since trading started there has been a vast increase in traffic travelling into the countryside and visiting the lay-by until very late in the evening. The worst days for us are Friday and Saturday evenings when the lay-by becomes extremely busy – almost a constant flow of traffic.
“This is causing us light and noise pollution problems caused by the majority of vehicles leaving headlights on and engines running whilst awaiting their food. We feel we are now living in a goldfish bowl opposite Blackpool Illuminations. We don’t expect this, I might just as well have bought a house in a town or opposite a trading estate.”
But in publishing their decision, members of the panel said they did not think Mr Palas should lose his licence.
Their statement said: “Whilst the panel sympathise with the concerns raised by objectors, they do not consider it is appropriate to revoke the street trading consent. There is no suggestion that Mr Palas has not been complying with the terms of his consent.
“The panel appreciate that the layby is a littering hotspot and will separately write to the appropriate team in the council.”