Are There Size Restrictions for Mobile Catering Vans on Council Land or Private Car Parks?

by Kevin
(Crawley, West Sussex, UK)

I must say that this site is full of useful information. I recently bought a Luton van and had it all done up professionally into a catering van, everything new inside and has eye catching graphics on the outside, the length is 22 foot, 7 and half foot wide and near 9 foot high.

I've got all my training certificate F&H level 2, HACCP, H&S, First aid, Liability insurance and recently had EHO from local council round and have been given the all clear to trade. I am also register with a company called NCASS for Event works.

I recently called my local council with who I am registered with now and asked if I needed planning permission to trade on private car parks or properties. I've been told I will need to submit on. IS THIS TRUE.

Then I've been told that it is unlikely that it will be granted because MY IS TOO BIG, I've also been told that I will NOT be granted a street license as the VAN IS TOO BIG.

I am very much confused as I know for a fact that there are Burger vans and other food business vans operating in the local market, and which has been trading there for years.

I don’t mind paying their fees and all that because my van being too big, what a rubbish answer and that comes from the planning permission department from my local council.

Any advice please,

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Oct 25, 2011
Mobile Catering Van Sizes
by: David

Hi Kevin,

Your catering van sounds great, and I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems.
I’ve never personally heard of a catering van being too big to trade, so I’m not sure what your council is talking about.

If it was such a big problem - why didn’t the EHO mention it as they must inspect many catering trailers and vans of all sizes?

I can possibly understand that because of the length of your catering van, it may not fit into a designated street trading spot, as the ones

I’ve seen are quite small. Furthermore if you are trading on private land, do they really have any jurisdiction to tell you that you need planning permission on private property, surely this up to the landowner?

Do find out on what basis your vehicle need planning permission, does it say somewhere that the vehicle needs to be under a certain length, height or width. I think you need to get some clarification on this point.

Also it might be worth asking your neighbouring council the same question and see what response you get from them. Please let us know how you get on!

Best of luck

p.s Get my free guide on Starting a Mobile Catering Business Guide

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