Mobile traders could face regulation

GROWING TREND: Mobile traders Marge and Stacey’s Gourmet Burgers is another caravan in Darfield.

A crackdown on mobile traders across the districts could be looming.

However, the public has little interest in having input into the issue.

Only eight submissions were received for a potential bylaw aimed at regulating commercial activities in public places.

The district council will be holding a hearing for the Public Places Bylaw and Policy on Commercial Activities and Events in Public Places.

A hearing is scheduled to be held on Thursday.

The bylaw comes as an increasing number of mobile traders are seeking to operate in Selwyn, ­ especially during the summer months.

In the past year, the district council has received five inquiries about setting up a mobile business on private or public land.

A report said there are two street operators in Darfield, a coffee cart is parked beside the railway in Rolleston, and a pizza cart visits Lincoln weekly between September-May along with a Thai food truck.

An inquiry has also been made for a possible food truck located near Lincoln University.

Mayor Sam Broughton said the bylaw is about bringing certainty to people about what can and can’t be done.

A district council report said asset staff often deal with complaints arising when traders operate on the road.

It said difficulties arise in persuading traders, who have appropriate licences, to relocate as they have a common law right to occupy the public road.

Cafe and restaurant businesses are commending the district council for the bylaw.

Darfield Bakery owner Daryl Collier said he applauds the council for the crackdown.

He said he would have been happy to write a submission in support of the bylaw but did not know about it.

“The businesses in Darfield especially have done a lot to tidy up Darfield . . . all of a sudden the caravans pop up and it looks like a Sunday market,” he said.

Terrace Cafe & Bar owner Julie Ridgen said the caravans takes some of their business.

She said while she understands everyone wants to make money, mobile vehicles do not have the same overheads as her own business.

Marge and Stacey’s Gourmet Burgers owner Marge Hesseron said she had not heard about the bylaw and she had only had positive feedback from the community.

Mark Vincent who runs the food truck Burger Revolution in Darfield would not comment.

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