Bradley Stoke Town Council’s plan to allow multiple food traders to operate in the car park of each of its three community centres has suffered a setback after the first trader to apply to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) for a street trading licence on one of the sites was told that planning permission for a “change of use” would be required.
Last year, Santiago Pablo, owner of Papas Pizzas, was granted a permit by the town council to trade at Brook Way Activity Centre on four evenings a week, making him the second operator allowed to trade at that site.
Mr Pablo subsequently applied to SGC for the necessary street trading licence and his application was due to be considered by the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on 18th March. However, the hearing was cancelled after the trader withdrew his application.
Mr Pablo told The Journal that he had withdrawn his application because he had been informed by SGC that he would also require planning permission for a “change of use” of the Brook Way site.
Prior to Mr Pablo making his licence application, the town council had concluded, following an exchange of letters with SGC, that because the area of the car park occupied by a street trader “would remain as car parking spaces for 75% of the time, a material change of use would not take place and planning permission would not be required,” although it was stressed that “no final definitive answer” had been given by SGC.
Mr Pablo added that he believed the town council should foot the bill for a planning application, as, once granted, the permission could be transferred to another permit holder of the town council’s choosing, should he decide to give up his pitch.
Asked about the issue at the March meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee, town clerk Sharon Petela confirmed that SGC is now advising that planning permission for a “change of use” is required, but insisted that obtaining this is the responsibility of the trader rather than the council.
She added that the two current traders (or their predecessors) on the council’s sites had both made their own applications for planning permission, thereby establishing a precedent.
Even if Mr Pablo can be convinced to fund a planning application, and it is successful, he has a further hurdle to overcome in the form of six letters of objection, from neighbours of the Brook Way site, to his application for a street trading licence.
Ozzy’s Kebabs, the other business in possession of a town council permit to trade at Brook Way, began operating at the site in early March. Although the owner had been paying rent to the council since taking over the pitch from Oasis Foods last year, he had not been trading pending the fitting out of a new van.
Papas Pizzas continues to trade in the car park of Baileys Court Activity Centre on Thursday and Friday nights, where it continues to be the sole trader.
No applications have so far been forthcoming from operators wishing to trade at the Jubilee Centre, where neighbours accused the council of failing to carry out a promised consultation.
Photo: Ozzy’s Kebab van, a new arrival in the car park at Brook Way Activity Centre.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Related link: Takeaway Food in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)
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