Owl says: This is what happens when you fail to build a proper centre in a new town.
“Members differed in their opinions when deciding whether to support a request for annual street trading consent from Richard Filby, who runs popular chip van Flippy Chippy.
Councillor Ray Bloxham said granting consent would go against Cranbrook’s ‘healthy’ image, as it is just one of ten sites selected to join NHS England’s national Healthy New Towns programme. He 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.
Cllr Sarah Gunn said a fish and chip shop is set to open in Cranbrook soon and the council needed to support it. She added: “It is not cheap rent or business rates – there are no concessions.
“A chip van up the road is going to make that very hard.”
Cllr Matt Osborne said Flippy Chippy is ‘well known and liked’ in Cranbrook, and had been involved with a lot of community events held in the town.
He said: “If we take that away when there is a chip shop opening, the backlash will be quite severe – because we are the reason people can not have fish and chips in town anymore.
“I think we will get some kind of movement against that.”
Cllr Bloxham proposed the council objects on the grounds that Cranbrook is a Healthy New Town and the council is ‘trying to promote healthy living’.
He added: “It is unfair competition for businesses trying to set up shop in the town. [Flippy Chippy] has no overheads apart from a bit of petrol.”
Cllr Bloxham’s proposal was defeated by four votes to three.
Cllr Les Bayliss said two other mobile companies sell food in Cranbrook and it would be unfair to object to Mr Filby’s request.
He proposed the council supports the trading consent request, but his motion was also defeated by three votes to two.”
Councillors finally agreed they would send their comments to East Devon District Council, which will decide whether to grant consent at a future date.
Mr Filby’s application is to trade from a catering van every Monday, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, on Younghayes Road (by the country park).