Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Recreation ground to get refreshments van

A MOBILE refreshments stand could operate at Makins recreation ground in Henley this summer.

The town council is to advertise for potential vendors after agreeing the move on a trial basis from as soon as next month.

Members of the recreation and amenities committee said the operator could sell hot and cold drinks but not snacks so as not to compete with the Takhar Wine Mart store in Greys Road.

The idea follows an offer from a businessman who said he was interested in sponsoring “something connected” to the new skate park being built in the recreation ground.

A report to the committee said: “His idea is to provide a storage container fitted out to become a simple catering facility. The standard size is 10ft by 8ft and 8ft high — 80 sq ft. The container could be new or used but will be in good enough condition.

“The cost of the unit will be in the region of £4,000 but there may be additional costs of decking, table and chairs. This could be a great business opportunity and means that the park has increased surveillance even without CCTV.”

Deputy Mayor Lorraine Hillier welcomed the idea and suggested approaching Mohammad Seylani-Zadeh, who runs Henley Kebabs in Greys Road car park, as he had expressed an interest in moving.

Councillor Ian Reissmann added: “The idea is well worth looking at. We’re getting a magnificent new skate park and this seems like a natural extension of that.”

Councillor David Nimmo Smith said there should be no cost to the council and he would like a business plan.

The council will ask South Oxfordshire District Council for advice on whether planning permission would be required.

Meanwhile, nine companies have expressed an interest in improving the children’s playground at the recreation ground.

The council invited proposed designs as part of a three-part improvement plan that also involves replacing the skate park and installing an outdoor gym.

A report to the committee said: “The responses were varied, with some companies sending in expensive full visuals which were not requested at this stage.

“Other companies simply did not bother to show that they wanted to understand Makins recreation ground and its unique place in Henley.”

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