As reported in The News on Monday, excitement over Nikky Forbs’ new food trailer venture at the back of Tony's Food Store in Hanway Road, Buckland, was quickly replaced by “upset” after it was forced to close by Portsmouth City Council.
The new trailer, which offered beef and chicken burgers, bacon baps and chicken wings, had already gained a legion of loyal followers despite only opening to the public last month.
The decision to axe the burger van has left Nikky “struggling” but vowing to make a success of a new site. The burger van was shut after it was situated on council land when Nikky had thought it was on private land.
Following the closure, Nikky told The News: “We thought it was private property behind our shop but the council said it is not so they shut us down. But it’s ok as everything happens for a reason.
"We are in the process to convert the back of our shop into a cafe and do hot and cold food there. I believe this will be even better for us.
“It is a struggle right now but we won’t be defeated and I will continue to cook food for the community. All my customers have been upset about the decision but they are excited for the new path coming.”
Now the council has revealed its decision was to look after its interests in order to boost services for tax-payers. Council leader councillor Steve Pitt said: “The council is aware of the unauthorised concession and served a notice to the trader on 8 September requesting the van is removed. The vendor has been advised that recognised sites are available to traders on the council's electronic tendering website.
"The council is committed to protecting its assets, as the income it receives from them goes directly towards funding services for local people. Therefore it is vital that traders are trading with consent of the landowner."
More information about applying for street trading consent is available here: www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/licensing/apply-for-licenses/street-trading-consent/