Dessert van approved as owner aims to become 'asset' to Daventry community

The van will set up in a layby on Badby Road West
The van will set up in a layby on Badby Road West

The owner of a new Daventry dessert van believes his business can be an asset to the community rather than a hindrance - after he won approval to pitch his van in a residential layby.

Matthew Lillistone will now operate his business, known as The Biscuiterie, in Badby Road West after being granted a licence.

Members of Daventry District Council’s licensing committee approved his application on Tuesday morning (April 30), despite objections from 18 residents who were worried that the van could attract anti-social behaviour, litter problems and emit ‘sweet and sickly’ odours.

Speaking at the licensing hearing, Mr Lillistone outlined how he had converted from a home kitchen business to a van at the end of last year.

Addressing some of the concerns from residents, he said: “Rather than be a hindrance I think we can become an asset to the local area, and we have had a lot of positive feedback. I know there’s been 18 representations but there’s also been a lot of people for it.

“We would be using a very quiet generator and we can put a soundproof box around it.

“In terms of the odour, a lot of the representations were with the ‘sickly, sweet smells’, which I presume they thought would happen because we are a dessert van. Everything we make is homemade, apart from the Nutella.

“There’s no more than 10 per cent of the recipes that include sugar. Any odour probably dissipates within a couple of metres of wafting out of the hatch. There’s no deep frying or oil that would annoy residents.

“There’s also litter strewn over that area already, so if we were to trade there we would do a litter pick at the end of the shift, and provide a black bin.”

But resident Ann Fennell said she didn’t believe it was the right place for a van.

She said: “McDonald’s put bins out, but people throw it wherever they want. There’s already a litter problem, so more litter? No thank you.

“I have nothing against them trading but not in a residential estate. People who have just bought £500,000 houses don’t want to look out on a van.

“It’s also dangerous, with two junctions and zebra crossings close to them, so this might be an obstruction. “

But responding, Mr Lillistone said: “In my opinion, it's the perfect place because it’s the convergence of several roads and paths, all paths lead that way.

“There was an article in the Daventry Express and it was one of the best articles in a while in terms of people contributing to it, and a lot of people were saying it was a good thing.”

But Mrs Fennell replied: “The people who want this don’t live in the street.”

The business was eventually granted a licence by the three member panel, allowing it to operate daily from 9am until 9pm. But Mr Lillistone said that they would trade for a maximum of eight hours, and were unlikely to open for more than four hours.

Licensing committee chairman Councillor Mike Warren told The Biscuiterie to ensure that their small generator was soundproofed, and also urged residents to report any litter problems.