‘Exactly the sort of thing that the village has been calling out for a long time’ - how happiness in Haddenham is a burger van in the car park

Happiness for some in Haddenham is the decision to grant a licence for this burger van to operate ni

Happiness for some in Haddenham is the decision to grant a licence for this burger van to operate nightly from the social club car park. But not everyone was in agreement, as a council sub committee was to hear. Picture; APPLICANT - Credit: Archant

Like a mini Brexit referendum the public vote was by no means unanimous but even with opponents occupying 24 pages of comments and supporters only 16, councillors opted to allow a burger van to trade from a car park in Haddenham.

A special licensing sub committee of East Cambridgeshire District Council yesterday agreed to the application by Ozgur Pektas of Bakers Corner, Ely.

He's of late been taking his Haddenham Burger Van to the sports and social car park in the village but needed official consent to continue.

That's now been agreed by councillors who were "minded to grant the application" but with modifications to appease at least some of the objectors.

Trading hours will be restricted to Monday to Saturday and from 4pm to 10pm and Mr Pektas has been told not to arrive early and to make sure both he and the van have gone by 10.30pm.

He's also been told to make sure the area around the van is cleared of rubbish.

A council statement said they had taken into account their officer's report and letters from objectors and supporters.

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Members agreed the hours agreed offered a "fair balance between the request of the applicant, the consultees and the needs of the residents".

Papers submitted to the committee said that those opposing the application cited noise, odour, rubbish, and traffic issues as reasons for their objections.

The supporting comments included statements "that this is a welcomed facility and a much needed alternative to the other limited offerings in the area, and that it removes the need to travel further afield".

The committee heard that since Mr Pektas submitted his main application he had traded legally on 16 occasions using the full quota of daily permits that are permitted per calendar year, and are not subject to the normal consultation process.

The report to councillors pointed out that "no mandatory grounds of refusal are applicable to this application.

"The council is not under any duty to grant a street trading consent and need not specify any of the statutory grounds for refusal.

"Therefore, the matter to grant or refuse an application for a street trading consent is at the total discretion of the council."

But the committee was also told that the council must have regard to its own street trading policy.

One woman told the council the burger van "has caused me distress- the smell is horrific" whilst another said that when the wind was in a "certain position we have an awful smell of stale fat coming into our property".

Another felt it was "simply the wrong place" for it but supporters included the thought that "it is good to have a variety of take away food in the village".

Another had "found the food to be hotter than if bought from Ely - and there's better parking".

One woman was ecstatic that a burger van had arrived in the village.

"Until now we had to travel to either Ely or Willingham for this sort of food so having one in the village has been incredible."

She also welcomed the staff who have been hired to serve from the van.

"These guys are great, always making everything in a proper manner with great respect to food hygiene, from what I could see. We were served with a great smile and true feeling of customer care.

"This is exactly the sort of thing that the village has been calling out for a long time."