La Cantina food van may lose right to trade in Cranbrook

Tillhouse Road in Cranbrook. Picture: Google Maps

Tillhouse Road in Cranbrook. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Concerns were raised about health, too many fast food outlets in Cranbrook, and it was claimed that La Cantina’s van blocks the road

A mobile food van may have to stop trading in Cranbrook after town councillors voted not to support the owner’s application to continue.

La Cantina currently sells takeaway street food every Wednesday evening in Tillhouse Road.

The trader Tim Golder has applied to East Devon District Council for a renewal of his permit, and Cranbrook town councillors were invited to comment.

At their meeting on Monday, November 19, three councillors spoke out in support of La Cantina, but five voted to object to its continued trading in the town.

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Councillor Ray Bloxham said there were various grounds for objecting. He pointed out that Cranbrook is one of NHS England’s ten Healthy New Towns and should not be encouraging takeaway food outlets. He said there is a ‘proliferation’ of fast food outlets in Cranbrook, and this is detrimental to people’s health.

Councillor Bloxham also raised concern about the location of the van. He said it is not suitable as there is no layby there, and that one of his principal objections was that the van obstructs the road.

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The guidelines for street trading applications state that it “should not present additional risks to the public in terms of road safety or obstruction.”

The chairman of the council, Kevin Blakey, said he agreed with Councillor Bloxham’s views, and added: “We are also trying to encourage businesses to come into Cranbrook on a permanent basis. I’m not against competition but the mobile food vans have an unfair advantage over those who pay business rates.”

Councillors Les Bayliss, Sam Hawkins and Matthew Osborn supported La Cantina. Councillor Bayliss argued that many people depend on takeaway food vans, and Councillor Osborn warned that there could be a backlash against the town council if it was seen to be limiting people’s choice.

However they were outvoted and a decision was made to register an objection with the district council, which will make a final decision.

It comes just weeks after a similar application, for the Flippy Chippy food van, was debated by Cranbrook Town Council. Although the issue provoked raised similar arguments about health issues and public choice, councillors made no objection to East Devon district council, which granted the trading consent.

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