Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

Application for a Street Trading Consent

Mr Edward Danter

 

Minutes:

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the report, he explained that an application had been received from Mr Edward Danter for a street trading consent to sell hot food and hot and cold drinks from a hot food unit on the High Street. He highlighted that the application submitted in relation to Mr Danter’s proposed 2019 trading had been altered from previous years in that the location was slightly different and the trading unit had been scaled down in size.

 

He highlighted that a number of objections had been received in relation to the application and advised the committee that they should be mindful of these when determining the application. These were outlined at Appendix 3 of the officer report. 

 

He reminded the committee that each application should be determined on its individual merits and with a view of promoting the principles and objectives contained in the council’s adopted policy. If Members were minded to deviate from the policy they should have clear reasons for doing so.

 

He noted that the next phase of the High Street East Masterplan work was due to commence in September and that this could affect the suitability of the location Mr Danter had applied to trade from.  He advised that there was currently no definitive timescale for the works.

 

Following questions from Members, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that:

·           If an alternative location is identified for the stall, it would be subject to the usual consultation;

·           He confirmed that 3 potential alternative sites had been identified, one was on the High Street near to Rodney Road, the other was outside Cavendish house as the Christmas market was moving this year and the final location, which had been suggested by Mr Danter, was on the High Street situated slightly up from John Lewis.

·           Following a concern from Members that they had not had the opportunity to visit the alternative locations, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that the committee had to determine the application before them. If they were minded to permit the application and the site became unavailable due to the works on the High Street then further consultation on an alternative site would need to be completed and the application may have to come back before the committee.

·           Following a question from a Member, he confirmed that the alternative location for the Christmas market was not yet in the public domain as it was subject to procurement.

·           Following a comment from Mr Danter that the proposed location for the stall had already been repaved last year, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that whilst the stall wouldn’t be situated directly within the area being re-paved there would be a lot of traffic, noise and disruption to this area and so it had been deemed unsuitable for a food unit. He highlighted that this was dependent on the programme of works and may not affect Mr Danter at all.

Mr Danter explained that:

  • He had experienced a number refurbishments to business units and the High Street in the times that he had traded at this location and these had not caused disruption to his business.
  • He confirmed that his family had been trading on Cheltenham High Street during the festive period since 1986.
  • He also had a funfair business that ran up until the 2nd November and then the food unit supported him and his family through the festive period.
  • He highlighted that he had made a number of changes to the stall and location subject to consultation with the council and in response to complaints from other retailers. He explained that they had also enhanced the appearance of the unit at a cost of nearly £10,000  in 2015 and this year they had almost half the size of it in order to comply with the policy and to ensure that it did not obstruct New look or other retail units. They had also applied for a trading pitch that was slightly lower down the High Street so as to not conflict with other businesses.
  •  He highlighted that during the festive period in 2017 they had not received any complaints about the unit.

 

Mr Danter offered the following responses to Member questions:

·         In response to a complaint about the smell of onions, they had sourced crispy dry onions that they now used;

·          He was satisfied that the litter provisions were adequate. The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that there was not a specific condition on the licence regarding litter.

Members made the following comments during the debate:

·         Members agreed that Mr Danter’s stall was integral to Cheltenham during the festive period and extremely popular with both residents and visitors to the area. They acknowledged that Mr Danter managed the stall well and had worked with the council to resolve any issues. 

·         Several Members were concerned that the unit may need to be moved as a result of the works on the High Street and alternative locations would be subject to further consultation so wouldn’t be able to be done at short notice.

·         Members suggested that there needed to be closer dialogue with the townscape and licensing team regarding planned works and this would hopefully enable the licensing team to work with applicants to resolve issues outside of committee.

·         Members acknowledged that it was not for the licensing committee to identify alternative locations, however, several Members felt that they would be happy to grant the application but not in the current location applied for.

·         One Member reasoned that a number of the objections were not material considerations, they also felt that the majority of food outlets in the immediate vicinity had a different offer to Mr Danter’s stall. One Member disagreed and felt that competition was still a factor as consumers would simply substitute.

In his final right of reply Mr Danter made the following comments:

  • This unit was mobile and could easily be moved and relocated within 24 hours should it interfere with the works on the High Street.
  • He reiterated that last year all the works taking place on the High Street had been completed on time and did not interfere with his unit. 
  • He read out several letters of reference, one from a local businessman who felt that the stall added something special to the High Street during Christmas time and stressed the importance of supporting a well-run family business. The other was from a sausage company supplier who explained that they relied on Mr Danter’s unit in the run up to Christmas.

 

The committee proceeded to vote on section 1.5.1 of the report to approve the application because Members were  satisfied that the location was suitable for the

trading proposed.

4 in favour

4 against

 

The Chair had the casting vote and opted to grant the application.

The Licensing Team Leader and committee agreed that a plan b should be devised in consultation with Mr Danter in case problems arise as a result of the works on the High Street.

 

Supporting documents: