Fast food van WILL remain in Cranbrook after street trading request is granted

A mouthwatering portion of fish 'n' chips.

A mouthwatering portion of fish 'n' chips. - Credit: Archant

A popular fish and chip van in Cranbrook has been granted street trading consent – despite concerns from some councillors that it would put a smear on the town’s ‘healthy’ image.

Flippy Chippy, which is run by Richard Filby, was unable to trade while an application was considered by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “The present street trading process means that prospective traders applying have to await consent being give.

“Mr Filby was unable to trade until such time his application was consulted upon and approval given.

“The legislation is enforceable by a fine of up to £1,000 for traders operating unlawfully without consent and Mr Filby has complied with the requirement to await the outcome of consultation.”

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Cranbrook Town Council was asked for its opinion on the request, with councillors torn over choosing to support or object to it.

At a meeting last week, Councillor Ray Bloxham said granting consent would go against the town’s ‘healthy’ image.

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Cranbrook is one of ten sites selected to join NHS England’s national Healthy New Towns programme.

Cllr Bloxham said: “We are trying to do something about the health of our town.

“We need to, at some stage, make a stand against this type of thing because it is not good.”

Cllr Bloxham said there is a ‘proliferation’ of mobile businesses coming into Cranbrook, which do not pay business rates and sell ‘unhealthy food’ to the community.

However, Cllr Matt Osborne said the council should prepare for a ‘severe backlash’ if the authority opted to object to the request.

He added that the fast food van is ‘well known and liked’ in Cranbrook, and had been involved with a lot of community events held in the town.

Motions to object to, and support, the request both failed, with councillors eventually agreeing to submit their comments to the district council.

Last week, EDDC confirmed it had granted Mr Filby’s street trading request, as neither the council or anyone else had objected to it.

Mr Filby said: “I am very relieved, as it means I can continue trading in Cranbrook, where I have been for nearly six years.

“At peak times, I have up to 60 people coming to my van, and I have a loyal customer base.

“I would like to thank all those who support me in my time of crisis.”

The subject has prompted a passionate response from Cranbrook’s community.

A poll set up by the Herald received 229 responses - with 78 per cent saying Flippy Chippy should continue trading in Cranbrook.

Mr Filby’s request was to trade from a catering van every Monday, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, on Younghayes Road (by the country park).

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