Plans to move two ice cream vans inside Abington Park could have a “massive impact” on trade for the sellers, councillors have been told.
Northampton Borough Council is proposing to move Gallone’s and Mario’s Ice Cream from their current pitches in Park Avenue South to a hard-standing area inside Abington Park, from April 1 next year.
The authority says the move will enable the vans to benefit from a “prime location” inside the park, and will improve safety on the road.
But Aldo Gallone, of Gallone’s told the Chron last week that there had been no accidents in the time he has parked in Park Avenue South, and the safety concerns were a “red herring”.
The proposal was discussed a meeting of the borough council’s licensing committee last night.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Gallone said: “I believe that moving us into the park would not benefit our takings. People can see us as they drive past.
“We have had an increase in our rent, and there is a potential loss of earnings to us.
“We will lose business because we will not get any passing trade. Generally speaking, location is one of the most important things. If we are not in the right place for selling ice cream, it will have a massive impact.”
Mr Gallone told the meeting he has spent £60,000 on the trailer he uses at Abington Park, including fittings, and said he objected to being told to use another vehicle by the council, given the investment he has made.
The proposal received a mixed reaction from councillors, with some speaking out against it.
Licensing committee member, Councillor Terry Wire (Lab, St James), said: “We are taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. I would like Mr Gallone to remain where he is.”
Speaking as a member of the public, Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib, Kingsthorpe) added: “They have been there for 80 years and there has never been an accident.
“The rent increase has been accepted graciously, and now the council is asking them to move. I don’t see the point of it.
“Mr Gallone is an astute businessman and he knows if it is going to affect him. They have paid their rent increase, and we ought to leave them where they are.”
Senior licensing officer Louise Faulkner said: “We feel we are giving a really good opportunity to improve trading. We are also looking to increase the hours they can trade.”
The committee agreed the proposal should go out to consultation, and the decision be deferred to a later date.