Monday, 15 August 2022

Councillors support kebab van's move to busier pitch in street

THE owner of a takeaway kebab van in Henley wants to move to the town centre to try to improve his trade.

Mohammad Seylani-Zadeh first set up Henley Kebabs in Greys Road car park in 1990 but was forced to go and live in his native Iran after his father died in 2005.

When he returned four years later he had to re-apply for his licence and he finally began trading from the car park in November 2015.

Mr Seylani-Zadeh, who lives in Tilebarn Close with his wife Ziba and their son Aria, now says he is struggling to make ends meet and wants to move his van to a more prominent location.

He says he would be happy to pay for his own electricity connection to the van and keep the area tidy during his shifts.

He operates from 7pm from Monday to Saturday, working until 1am on Mondays to Wednesdays, 2am on Thursdays and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Speaking at a meeting of Henley Town Council’s town and community committee, Mr Seylani-Zadeh said he wanted to operate from outside Barclay’s Bank in Hart Street.

“Hopefully that will improve my business because I’ve tried very hard for the last two years in Greys Road car park and it’s hard to make ends meet,” he said.

“I will provide a large black bin outside the van and make sure the area is left nice and clean.”

Mayor Kellie Hinton said: “We do need to talk to people around the bank. I’ve been made aware of residents on that side of Hart Street having a hard time.

“They can’t change their windows because the street is listed buildings but there’s lots of noise. There needs to be some sort of consultation as we don’t want to make anyone’s home life considerably worse by having an area where people gather and talk for some time.

“We also have to consider things like the Christmas festival when you won’t be able to park in Hart Street.”

But Councillor Will Hamilton said: “Either side of the Hart Street is fine and you could get a temporary traffic order for a trial run.

“However, we need a proper solution if he is going to pay for an electricity point.”

Councillor Sam Evans suggested moving the taxi rank outside the bank, perhaps swapping places with Mr Seylani-Zadeh’s space in the car park.

She said: “The taxis are more logically located in the car park — that’s a natural place to go for a taxi if you don’t know the area.

“We would need some sort of agreement with the taxi drivers.”

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “I’ve always thought the taxis are in the wrong place. They would be better outside the Catherine Wheel [in Hart Street] and then there would be room for the van outside the bank.

“We are all in support of Mr Seylani-Zadeh and understand the problems he is having in the car park.”

Councillor Sarah Miller said: “Market Place is not the right place for a van but we’ve all grown up with Mo and he’s one of the family.

“Personally I think he should go outside the bank. I don’t think there’s too much noise on Hart Street apart from Magoos.

“There’s no seating so hopefully people will do what I used to do and grab a doner and head home.”

Councillors agreed to support the proposed move, which will need to be approved by both South Oxfordshire District Council as the licensing authority and Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority.

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