Yes to food van at beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 July 2015

Food van given permission to trade at Backwell Lake.

Food van given permission to trade at Backwell Lake.


A new food van could soon be serving drinks and snacks in the car park of a beauty spot in Backwell.

The T-Bird Sun Hut was given street trading consent to serve drinks and pre-packaged food at Backwell Lake by North Somerset Council’s licensing sub-committee, despite 23 letters of objection from neighbours and councillors.

Backwell Parish Council objected to the application due to worries over more litter and vermin, the effect on wildlife, fears the car park could become a pit stop for lorry drivers and attract antisocial behaviour due to the late opening hours proposed.

Andy Cole, who represents Nailsea for North Somerset Council, sent a letter to the committee objecting to the proposal which he said would be detrimental to the lake and surrounding green space.

Speaking after the hearing, he said: “Sensitive areas and beauty spots such as Backwell Lake should be protected from unwanted and unnecessary retail trade.

“The additional noise, waste and location of the food unit will be obtrusive to the landscape and many regular users of the lake grounds.

“In addition food can already be purchased at Backwell garage just a short distance away from the lake.”

Backwell Residents’ Association (BRA) also opposed the proposal. Speaking after the decision, chairman Keith Riches said: “BRA is disappointed that North Somerset Council has taken no notice of objections about this proposal.”

The sub-committee granted the street trading consent at a meeting on June 23 with a number of conditions.

The food van will be open from 9am-6pm, no food will be cooked on site and the trailer will be removed daily.

The generator used with the trailer will also be a low-decibel generator.

Michael Silvera, who owns the T-Bird Sun Hut had proposed to open the food van from 9am-9.30pm seven days a week.

North Somerset Council has confirmed the opening hours have been reduced due to objections from neighbours.

Backwell Lake, off Station Road, is used by people across North Somerset and Bristol and a path has recently been completed around the water so it can be accessed by people with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The reserve has become an important site for wildfowl and dragonflies and also as a foraging area for bats.

It is managed by Wessex Water, with input from local volunteers.

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