Catering van bid raises a stink amongst concerned townsfolk in Innerleithen

A bid to locate a mobile catering unit adjacent to the entrance to Innerleithen Cemetery has raised grave concerns amongst some townsfolk.

Catering van bid for Traquair Road in Innerleithen.
Catering van bid for Traquair Road in Innerleithen.

Gordon Bain, of Tweed Valley Foods in Galashiels, has submitted an application to Scottish Borders Council for a street trader licence to operate a food and drinks van beside a shed in Traquair Road.

The shed is used for commercial storage and is located at the end of a number of bungalows, most occupied by people over the age of 60.

The unit is to operate 28 days a year, from 7am to 10pm, to coincide with major national and international mountain bike events.

But the plan has met with more than a dozen objections, which are to be considered by members of the council’s civic government licensing committee at a videolink meeting on Friday, February 19.

Objections centre on the potential for noise and odour emissions and disturbance to local residents.

One objector says: “Regardless of where this van is sited within the yard it will be no more than 30 to 40 metres from the nearest residential properties. The odours and smells which will emanate from this type of facility will certainly permeate residential properties washing lines and the internal fabrics with serious loss of amenity for neighbouring residents.”

Another objector adds: “The main entrance to Innerleithen Cemetery is directly opposite the entrance to the proposed site and on many occasions vehicles are on both sides of the road. This application may well hamper the bereaved attending or visiting the cemetery.”

In response the applicant Mr Bain said there would be no generator on the site as mains power would be used.

He outlined the limited trading days and said the application was intended to address an expected increase in staycations – families holidaying in the UK – this summer.

Mr Bain says the application would also result in less bikes being parked on the town’s high street, adding: "It would provide extra capacity for the town during the summer of 2021 with the staycation boom predicted to happen due to Covid-19.

“This would be an open air site with space to be Covid-friendly and would promote the town to both visitors and tourists.”