Stamford cafe’s cabinet cuts no ice with council!

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A CAFE is wrapped up in another planning row with the county council after selling ice creams outside its premises.

The owners of Café Black, Jim Harding and Hannah Darby, had the £10,000 ice cream cabinet shipped in from Italy last month to serve customers outside its premises in High Street, Stamford.

But this week they were contacted by solicitors for Lincolnshire County Council demanding that the cabinet be removed as it isn’t covered by the cafe’s licence.

The cafe has had planning issues in the past.

The cafe submitted a retrospective application to South Kesteven District Council in October, 2009, for their outdoor seating and a canopy.

Councillors granted the seating application in June last year but the canopy was refused in March this year. The distict council is due to serve an enforcement notice to remove the canopy within the next three weeks.

Mr Harding is outraged by the ice cream cabinet order which he claims will have a huge impact on his trade.

He said: “The council is restricting our ability to earn a living. I don’t know what the difference is between us serving ice cream outside the shop and the other vans serving doughnuts and burgers in High Street. It’s crazy.”

Mr Harding is refusing to stop serving ice cream from outside the shop.

He said: “We have still got the ice cream cabinet outside the cafe. I can’t afford to spent that much money on the cabinet and stock and then not use it and there is nowhere else for it to go.”

Senior highways officer Adam Freear said: “We contacted Cafe Black as they were persistently placing furniture on the highway before 10am which is contrary to the agreed terms of their street cafe licence which states that furniture can only be placed between 10am and 4pm as the area is a ‘pedestrian zone’ between these times.

“Outside of these times, access and safety could be compromised by this furniture. The owners were fully aware of these conditions and have been reminded of them on numerous occasions over the last 12 months.

“We also asked for them to formally apply to have additional furniture which they have started to place on the highway (parasols, bins, and ornamental trees), to add these to the licence so they are legally covered.

“We are also aware that the cafe has started to trade on the highway with a ice cream counter, and currently the county council does not allow trading on the highway in any form. The licence was signed and agreed by the owners and we are only taking enforcement action as they are not abiding by it.”