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Street trader David Bolesworth given the go-ahead to sell hot dogs in Maidstone town centre

There were worries tears would be shed after a battle broke out between two town centre retailers over the cooking of onions.

Street trader David Bolesworth has been selling ice cream and Slush Puppies at the junction of Earl Street and Week Street for almost 30 years, and now wants to include hot dogs and drinks.

In August, the 66-year-old wrote to Maidstone council requesting his licence is changed, however due to a number of objections, he was only given the go-ahead at a meeting last night.

Trader David Bolesworth applied for permission to sell hot dogs
Trader David Bolesworth applied for permission to sell hot dogs

Objections have come from Fremlin Walk and the council’s environmental enforcement team, which raised issues about strong smells lingering around the town centre.

The council also consulted 11 stores and one – Ashley Green of Gourmet Street Food Co, based in Fremlin Walk – was opposed.

Mr Green reminded the council when his licence was granted he was subject to strict conditions including not frying onions and only oven-cooking locally-sourced sausages.

He said: “We objected as we would like to continue to protect and improve Maidstone’s offering and move away from the standard low quality hot dog sausages that are proposed.”

Sausage roll stall owner Ash Green
Sausage roll stall owner Ash Green

Fremlin Walk manager Lloyd Wright said: “As one of Maidstone’s main shopping centres we do not want a kiosk located at our main entrance.”

He added sausages and hot drinks are already sold by retailers “who pay considerable rents”.

But Mr Bolesworth claims he’s being victimised by Fremlin Walk. In 2009 he sold hot dogs during the winter but the shopping centre objected, saying the smell put off shoppers and the licence was revoked.

Stock picture
Stock picture

A council report produced in 2009, said: “The perception of smell consists not only of the sensation of the odours themselves but of the experiences and emotions associated with these sensations. Smells can evoke strong emotional reactions.”

Mr Bolesworth said: “When something happens in Fremlin Walk the council doesn’t consult me or ask me what I think. I was here long before it became a shopping centre. It seems like they’re trying to get rid of me.”

The changes to the licence were granted at a meeting in Maidstone Town Hall on Thursday evening.

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