A food and drink outlet in Bury St Edmunds was granted a retrospective street vending permit this week, despite objections from neighbouring businesses.
Dolly Green’s Pop Up Catering has traded out of the former Grid premises in Abbeygate Street since April and intends to do so until the lease expires at the end of August.
Yesterday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s licensing and regulatory sub-committee considered objections about the pop up shop’s appearance and its approach to council procedures.
Applicant Chris Jevons told the sub-committee that he and his partner were trying to make use of the current lease so to avoid having another empty shop in the town and that he thought they had done so tastefully.
He added: “We’re just trying to make a small business to use up the end of the lease. We thought there would be no trouble and we’re surprised by what we’ve had. I just think it’s sour grapes with this lot really. We’ve not done anything wrong but they don’t want us to be there - but that’s competition for you.”
The application was successful. It allows two tables and eight chairs to be used outside the shop for a period of 28 days, while the necessary planning approval is sought.
After the hearing, Mr Jevons said: “It’s what we expected. We’re extremely pleased and hopefully that draws a line under it and we can get on with things.”
He pointed out that two businesses which had previously criticised him for operating without a permit had not had a current one at that time either. They too were issued permits this month.
Street Level Cafe’s expired on May 31, last year. Owner Richard Bird said he did not receive the usual renewal documents from the council.
Scandinavian Coffee House’s expired on November 30. Owner Pauline Page said the delay was caused by drawings the council rejected but that she was in contact with the council the whole time.
Both businesses do, however, have planning permission for their outside structures.
A council spokeswoman said: “Planning and licensing laws are there for good reasons, however burdensome some parties may find them. If we find non-compliance we will work with the business to correct it and, if the position remains unresolved, we consider enforcement action. For clarity about these obligations, we are looking at publishing specific guidance for pop-up shops.”