Agenda item

APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF A STATIC STREET TRADING LICENCE

To consider an application for the grant of a static Street Trading Licence submitted by Mr Patrick Kelly on behalf of No Frickin Chicken, to trade from a location on Friar Street, Worcester (where it meets Union Street).

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered an application for a Street Trading Licence, made by Mr Patrick Kelly of vegan food outlet ‘No Frickin’ Chickin’, to trade from a location on Friar Street, where it meets Union Street, Worcester.

 

At the start of the hearing, the Chair made the following statement: “Presentations to this Sub-Committee are not given under oath. However, I would like to remind all parties that the highest standards are expected and any deviation from these high standards could possibly influence any decision of the Sub-Committee.”

 

All parties at the hearing introduced themselves. Mr Kelly had chosen not to have any legal representation, but was instead accompanied by his partner, Ms Hannah Hughes. Mr Kelly and Ms Hughes stated that they were satisfied with the proposed procedure.

 

The Legal Services representative summarised the matter for consideration. The matter had been referred to the Sub-Committee for determination by Worcestershire Regulatory Services as objections had been received from local traders and residents.

 

The Legal Services representative explained that in accordance with the

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Schedule 4, a street trading licence application could only be refused on one of two grounds:

 

1)   That there is not enough space in the street for the applicant to engage in the trading in which he/she desires to engage without causing undue interference or inconvenience to persons using the street; and/or

 

2)   That there are already enough traders trading in the street from shops or otherwise in the goods in which the applicant desires to trade.

 

The Technical Officer (Licensing) presented the report on behalf of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, setting out the background to the application, as detailed in the agenda report.

 

All parties were given the opportunity to ask questions of the Technical Officer (Licensing) regarding the report.

 

Mr Kelly and Ms Hughes were then offered the opportunity to address the Sub-Committee in support of their application. They provided responses to a number of the objections which had been raised, as follows:

 

1)   With regards to smell, the applicants argued that unpleasant odour from deep frying food was largely due to dirty oil. They committed to changing their cooking oil every two days and had installed strong extractors. They had previously operated from the same vehicle and had received no complaints regarding odour.

2)   In order to address any potential objections regarding noise, the applicants had built a sound-proof box for their generator which reduced sound emission to around 60 decibels which was the same level as normal conversation.

3)   The applicants were committed to operating in an environmentally-friendly manner, using bio-degradable packaging and bins for customers to use.

4)   The applicants did not consider that their offer would adversely impact on other traders since it was a unique food offer in Worcester. They acknowledged that the local ‘Be the Change’ café also offered vegan food but they felt No Frickin’ Chicken was sufficiently different not to affect their business.

5)   Addressing objections that No Frickin’ Chicken’s Airstream van was not in keeping with the historic locale, the applicants suggested that there were numerous additions to the streetscape which were not traditional in style, and that this added an element of diversity to the City.

6)   The applicants contended that their van would not obstruct shop fronts.

7)   The applicants advised the Sub-Committee that their van would not pose a danger to the public, and that Mr Kelly was fully trained in fire safety.

8)   In response to concerns about obstructing the pavement, Ms Hughes stated that she and Mr Kelly believed there was enough room for pedestrians and indeed vehicles to pass by the van. The serving canopy would need to be closed if a larger vehicle needed to pass by.

 

Sub-Committee Members asked further questions regarding the positioning of the vehicle and potential issues with other vehicles being unable to pass by safely. Mr Kelly and Ms Hughes accepted that customers would have to step into the highway to be served, and that passers-by would need to walk on the cobbled area of the street which may be problematic for those unsteady on their feet.

 

A local resident attending was offered the opportunity to make their representation. They reiterated concerns relating to noise and pedestrian access to the street in question.

 

All parties were given the opportunity to make a final statement.

 

Mr Kelly and Ms Hughes informed the Sub-Committee that this was their third application for a static licence, and that their preference would have been to trade on the High Street, which unfortunately was not possible.

 

The Legal Representative offered the following legal advice to Members when considering their decision:

 

·        That the Sub Committee should consider the legislation which says the council shall grant an application unless they are satisfied, upon considering evidence presented to them, that there is insufficient space in the street or that there are already enough traders in the street from shops or otherwise in the goods in which the applicant desires to trade.

 

All parties, with the exception of Members of the Sub-Committee, the Legal Representative and the representative of Democratic Services then withdrew to enable to the Sub-Committee to consider its decision.

 

Having had regard to:

 

  • The Council’s Street Trading Policy.
  • The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.
  • The Report presented by the Technical Officer, Licensing, Worcestershire Regulatory Services.
  • The application and oral representations made at the Hearing by the applicant Mr Patrick Kelly and Ms Hannah Hughes.
  • The written representations submitted and the oral representations made by Mr Buxton

 

The Sub-Committee decided to refuse the application as applied for.

 

The reasons for the Sub-Committee’s decision were as follows:

 

·        The Sub-Committee considered the applicant’s submissions in which Mr Kelly and Ms Hughes explained that the business was a specialist vegan food take away, which was currently operating in Angel Place in Worcester.

 

·        The Sub-Committee was of the view the applicant had taken seriously the objections submitted and had sought to address the concerns raised. This was demonstrated by the recent addition of a soundproof box around the generator to reduce the noise levels.

 

·        Whilst the Sub-Committee was impressed by the business plan and approach taken by the applicants, Members were concerned that the location of the van would cause undue interference or inconvenience to persons using the street.

 

·        The street is demarked by cobbles and flat paving which distinguished the pavement area and the vehicle access (photograph page 43 of the committee papers). The street trading unit would be positioned on the paved area and extend to the flag stones with the trailer hatch extending onto the cobbled area. The positioning of the van would restrict the pavement forcing pedestrians onto the cobbled area. Although vehicle access is restricted at certain times during the day, there is a need to ensure that any vehicles requiring access (such as emergency services) would have clear access at all times. Whilst the applicants confirmed that they would drop the extended hatch in the event vehicular access was required, the Sub-Committee did not consider that this would address their concerns with regards to the restriction the van placed on the highway.

 

·        The Sub-Committee did not consider that allowing the licence on fewer days or for a shorter period each day, would alleviate the road safety concerns.

 

·        The Sub-Committee concluded that the application should be refused because of the undue interference or inconvenience to persons using the street. Furthermore, the Sub-Committee considered that there were other traders in the street that sold similar, albeit not exclusively, vegan food.

 

Duration of the meeting: 1:40 – 15:25pm

 

 

                                                                                Chairman at the Meeting on 23rd November 2021

 

Supporting documents: