Street licence granted for new health food van in Sunderland city centre

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Street traders serving coffee and healthy snacks from a vintage French van have been given a licence to trade in Sunderland city centre.

On Monday, April 9, Sunderland City Council’s regulatory committee discussed an application by Flamingo Bar and Cafe to trade in the Park Lane area.

Traders Andy Phillips and Hannah Jackson, speaking at the meeting, said the business will focus on the “vegan market” and gym-goers, producing protein snacks on site for sale.

They also said the vehicle’s history – a Citroen HY built in 1971 in Paris and boasting an Italian designer – was a key feature of their offering in the city centre.

The business will use a leisure battery system eliminating all noise and will trade between 8am-5pm, Monday to Saturday.

A separate application for bistro tables is also planned, with applicants stating similar health snack products are popular in Newcastle.

“There is nowhere in Sunderland where you can grab a healthy snack and coffee. It’s hard to grab a healthy snack these days,” Mr Phillips said.

On May 24, 2010, Sunderland City Council adopted a new policy on street trading in the city centre favouring applications which promote the ‘healthy city priority’.

In practice, street traders selling hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, fried goods and confectionery are more likely to be refused over traders providing healthier alternatives.

Licensing officer Richard Reading, speaking at the meeting, said there were no objections to the application but noted the area is regularly used for events including Pride.

He added that similar licenses granted in the past have been varied to accommodate events taking place in the Park Lane area.

At the meeting, Coun Peter Gibson and Coun Anne Lawson raised concerns over potential littering.

“I don’t want coffee cups all over Park Lane. You must make provisions to have a litter basket,” Coun Gibson said.

Applicant Mr Phillips added the business will use biodegradable cups and a recycling bin to “show they’re doing their bit recycling wise”.

The licence was granted on the condition that the van moves from the Park Lane area if an event is taking place.

By Chris Binding – Local Democracy Reporter

Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporting Service