Thinking of a Snack Van as Pilot Scheme for Cafe

by Allison
(Lanarkshire, Scotland)

Hi David,

I own a piece of land which is road side of a busy commuter and tourist route. It is very rural with the nearest towns lying 6 miles away in either direction.

My goal is to gain planning permission to build my own business of a cafe, but people have said to me why not test business first of all with a snack van?

I'm sure I'd need planning permission to set up a van? But don't know what other obstacles I'd have to overcome.

A concern is the access from the road which is an A road and 60mph speed limit, although traffic speeding is common as the site lies on a long straight section of road.

Vision of oncoming traffic is fine, it's the stopping to turn in which concerns me (and would concern the local authorities as well I'd imagine)

We have space to provide car parking but I don't know how far we'd need to go as far as providing a lay-by or widening to road so that traffic travelling on the opposite carriageway can turn across the road etc.

I haven't approached my local council yet until I've done as much research as I can myself, so, my question to you is - In your experience, how do you think the local council would view such a business.

I'm finding this site a brilliant learning tool and would like to find out opinion on my own circumstance.

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May 18, 2010
Your Idea May Turn Out to Be a Potential Goldmine!
by: David

Hi Allison,

To be honest with you’re idea sounds promising and it’s just a case of finding out what the local council and or highway agency thinks. As you have pointed out it may not be safe or could cause an unnecessary distraction for drivers wanting to access to your eating area.

Saying this I have seen a similar set up where a plot of land on the side of a busy A road is being used for the same purpose as you suggest. I think over time people get to know where the business is situated and plan in advance to stop and eat, as opposed to just stopping or slowing down.

So there is hope:-)

The best thing to do is, get rid of all guess work by actually contacting the council/highways agency and out if your business is going to be possible. You never know as your idea may turn out to be a potential goldmine!

Don’t delay and do keep us updated

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