Cafe moved on as lay-by shut
THE owner of a mobile cafe in Portishead says he is being forced off his pitch by council chiefs - despite serving up snacks to motorists for 15 years
THE owner of a mobile cafe in Portishead says he is being forced off his pitch by council chiefs - despite serving up snacks to motorists for 15 years.Dave Buljoo, who owns D'n'C Snacks, has been told by council officials that the lay-by he uses on the A369 Portbury Hundred is now being closed and used as a storage depot for the highways maintenance materials.Originally North Somerset Council had planned to spend £50,000 on resurfacing the lay-by and putting in new kerbs. But council leaders vetoed the scheme, saying it wasn't worth spending the cash on the area and it was better to close it and use it for storage.Mr Buljoo says the decision to close the lay-by has put the future of his business in jeopardy.Mr Buljoo said: "The first thing I knew about it was a letter from the council informing me of the resurfacing work."Then I hear they are to close the lay-by completely."The snack bar is my only form of income and now the business is in jeopardy. "If I am not there, many of the lorry drivers will have to go into Portishead to park which will cause problems in the town."People rely on the snack bar as somewhere to eat and take a break."Local people have been rallying to support Mr Buljoo and hundreds have signed a petition calling for him to stay.North Somerset Council deputy leader Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said: "It was identified that we needed somewhere in the north of the district to store highway materials for the road repairs we are carrying out and this was the only site available.""I am sure we would have been criticised for spending £50,000 on resurfacing the lay-by when there are people across the district with potholes in their roads."Mr Buljoo is also awaiting the outcome of a hearing due to be held later this month to discuss his application for a licence to trade from the lay-by.Cllr Ap Rees added: "We are currently in the process of reviewing all the snack bar operations in the district and whether to issue them with a licence."Mr Buljoo has been parking on highways land and I admit a blind eye has been given to this over the years."Mr Buljoo does not have a licence at this point in time."Neither does he pay rates for parking in the lay-by and arguably is competing against other similar businesses which do.