A POPULAR kebab van in Wokingham has lost its appeal and now has to cease trading from the car park, until it can find a suitable alternative pitch. However, it is operating this evening.
The BBQ King van has been a fixture of Reading Road for 30 years, moving into the car park of Wokingham Youth Community Centre four years ago. However, in December last year, Wokingham Borough Council, which owns the land, withdrew its consent for the van to operate from the car park.
On Thursday, June 11, a virtual meeting of the Licensing and Appeals Sub-Committee was held to determine if a street trading license should be awarded to Kenan Mursaloglu, who runs the van.
The van had originally operated from a hardstanding behind the bus stop that is opposite St Paul’s Church, but due to police concerns it had to move.
The youth centre car park had been agreed by the council, and the hearing also noted that in the four years the van had operated from there, it had only dealt with one complaint – in September 2017, about the disposal of rubbish.
During part of the hearing that was held behind closed doors, the councillors heard concerns relating to safeguarding and allegations of criminal activity which, at the time of the hearing, was still under investigation by Thames Valley Police.
Despite this, the sub-committee declined to renew the permit, saying that the youth centre car park is not a suitable or appropriate location for a fast food vehicle.
The councillors also noted that BBQ King is a popular local business – a petition had been launched to try and save the van, and our news story was picked up by the BBC’s evening news. As such, it wants the council’s property department to help Mr Mursaloglu find a new location.
We will be updating this story in due course.