Village’s ‘popular’ pizza fare comes off the menu

The outlet has been described as a 'great community meeting point'
The outlet has been described as a 'great community meeting point'

An amended planning application for a mobile food van and static store selling food and drink to operate in a village conservation area has been refused.

The site is the farmyard at Kingston Farm, in The Street, Kingston, opposite St Pancras Church.

Permission was sought from Lewes District Council for food, principally pizza, to be cooked at the site either for ‘alfresco’ dining on tables and chairs in the farmyard or on a take-away basis.

The Planning Applications Committee heard the food and drink use took place, without planning permission, between May and October last year.

The applicant sought to operate in the farmyard daily until October 30 this year, and from April 1 until October 30 in subsequent years.

The meeting heard there had been 28 representations of support for the initiative. Comments included:

1“Since the closure of the village shop there has been no retail outlet in Kingston. The provision of a pizza take-away and a modest amount of general produce is much appreciated.”

1“Adds to the village. Great community meeting point. The village is crying out for something like this.”

1“Best oasis ever on a hot sunny day.”

1“Peaceful location to enjoy pizza and mix with other locals. Brings villagers together.”

1“Asset to the village, very popular. Not aware of any negative impacts.”

But the committee endorsed the officer’s recommendation for refusal as the application was contrary to policies.

The officer’s report said: “The presence of the food trailer van and toilet unit is uncharacteristic and unsympathetic to the character of the area, which in this location is within the Kingston Conservation Area and the South Downs National Park.

“The food trailer van and toilet unit by its incongruous appearance also adversely affects the setting of nearby listed buildings.”

It added: “The use of the land for the operation of a hot food trailer unit in this location has impacts upon neighbouring amenity by causing noise and disturbance and cooking odours and fumes, adversely affecting the living conditions of local residents, including during evening hours.”