Published: 17:00, 04 June 2020
| Updated: 17:21, 04 June 2020
A kebab van could open next to a popular roadside cafe after the owner spotted a gap in the fast-food market.
Amanpreet Hundal, who runs the Blue and White Cafe off the A20 near Smeeth outside Ashford, says a lack of takeaway options in the area during the evenings has sparked the idea.
He wants to offer the service from Thursday to Saturday between 3pm and 9pm and hopes the "well-lit" food van will stop lorry drivers parking next to the cafe.
Mr Hundal submitted his plans to Ashford Borough Council earlier this week and says the scheme will allow him to expand his business in a "cost-effective" way.
Traditional Turkish kebabs and piri-piri chicken are set to feature on the menu.
"Due to public demand and lack of evening fast-food within the community, I have decided to start a food van offering Turkish cuisine," Mr Hundal said.
"I cannot do this cuisine in my cafe due to kitchen size and the cost involved in redesigning the kitchen and equipment.
"The site currently provides sufficient parking for my busy cafe with potential between 15 to 20 cars.
"The proposal is to change a small part of the car park, which will use two car park spaces leaving more than enough room for customers to pull in, safely park and exit back on the A20.
"I am convinced this will not add more traffic to the A20 as the customers driving to us to use the food van would have driven to the town centre regardless."
The roadside cafe - which reopened for takeaway only on Monday - has a chequered history.
In October 2003, it was destroyed by what police believed was a suspicious fire.
Then, after being rebuilt, a large hole was left in the side of the building in November 2009 when a Ferrari crashed into the wall.
The driver and passenger were taken to the William Harvey Hospital with minor injuries, but the car had caught fire in the crash and was wrecked.
Mr Hundal - who will employ new staff to work in the kebab van - says his team will be keeping a close eye on litter at the roadside.
He added: "There are no takeaway outlets within a three-mile radius that I will be impacting as there are only pubs open in the area which offer a different cuisine.
"We also have a tremendous problem with lorries parking on private land overnight and dumping waste on our ground, so this well-lit food van will be a deterrent to potential trespassers.
"My current licence allows me to trade until 11pm so whether the car park is for cafe use or food van use is irrelevant to any highway concerns in my opinion.
"This will not harm amenities of existing residents, however make something available to the community which is in demand.
"The food van will also be parked at my home address on my driveway overnight, not affecting the visuals of the site."
To view the kebab van plan, visit www.ashford.gov.uk and search for the 20/00618/AS reference.
More by this authorDan Wright
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