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Southwark to ban ice cream vans from SE1 riverside

Itinerant ice cream selling is to be prohibited by Southwark Council along the SE1 riverside from the Oxo Tower to Shad Thames.

Southwark to ban ice cream vans from SE1 riverside
An ice cream van parked on the pavement in Southwark Street in April 2010

Complaints about noisy buskers and ice cream vans parked with engines running have been made by Bankside residents for a decade. It is ten years almost to the month that regular informal talks about combating the nuisance began with council officers.

Complaints from residents were made days after Tate Modern opened in May 2000 and the meetings with their representatives took place in a council office in Redcross Way.

Eight years later, following several earlier council consultations, the licensing committee agreed to commence a new consultation. The results of that exercise in the autumn of 2008 along with recommendations were presented to members of the licensing committee at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening.

Ice cream trading will be prohibited in riverside streets from Oxo Tower Wharf in the west to St Saviour's Dock at the eastern end of Butler's Wharf. The southern boundary will be Southwark Street and St Thomas Street.

Currently there is much concern over ice cream vans parking with engines running outside Shakespeare's Globe and on the pavement at the corner of Hopton Street and Southwark Street.

Street trading will be restricted to two licensed pitches outside Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe.

Licensed street busking will be confined to a spot just west of the Millennium Bridge.

Discussions over the design of structures for legal trading will take place with Better Bankside which is expected to manage the project. Planning consent is required for the proposed riverside structures but the order could come into effect next summer.

Cathedrals ward councillor David Noakes, who appeared before the committee and welcomed the report, reminded the committee that the issues of ice cream vans and buskers were long-standing concerns of residents.

Members also agreed a motion moved by the former chair Cllr David Hubber that where possible the licensing sub-committee should in future meet at the council's Tooley Street building when hearing applications for licences in the north of the borough.

Cllr Norma Gibbes opposed the move saying that "the Town Hall is the heart of the borough, the heart of Southwark". However, Cllr Cathy Bowman argued that it was in the interest of local authorities to make meetings as accessible as possible. "Public convenience is more important than our own," she added.

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