RESIDENTS, supporters of local business and kebab fans have rallied round the owner of a fast food van as its days of trading look numbered.

Edip Kozluca has been running the Star Kebab van on Market Street for two decades.

At the beginning of July the 59 year-old applied for six months more street trading consent, a month before his current permission was due to expire.

A letter sent to Mr Kozluca from a Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) licensing officer turned down his request, stating that the current late night takeaway shops and future retail and residential developments planned for the road would encourage more traffic.

The kebab van's presence, the officer argued, would increase unauthorised parking and the 'threat to road users and pedestrians associated with such actions.'

In the three days since Mr Kozluca's plight was made public, more than 220 people signed a petition calling for a spot for the van in the Lexicon development.

Amanda Di Maida, from Bracknell, wrote: "Shame on BFC and the regeneration partnership for putting the large chains above those of local businesses."

Colin Appleby, from Box, added: "Edip was already a Bracknell fixture, landmark and destination when I left Cookham in 1992.

"He has been serving the people of Bracknell for longer than councillors Brunel-Walker, Hamilton and Skinner combined - and, let's be honest, is far more highly valued by the town than any of the politicians who have come and gone during his years of service."

Mr Kozluca was shocked by the refusal.

"It came from no where and it was a very disappointing thing," he said.

"This is my only income. My customers say there is no other kebabs in the town centre. You have to walk two miles for a kebab now.

"How can they do this to people?"

Vincent Paliczka, director of environment, culture and communities, said: "We have been in talks with Mr Kozluca on this matter for a number of years, providing ample notice that he will need to find an alternative place to trade.

“As per the letter sent to Mr Kozluca, at present the council is minded to refuse his application for a street trading consent. However, we have offered the opportunity to have the matter determined by a panel of the licensing committee, which Mr Kozluca has taken up.

"Until this hearing has taken place and the application has been determined, we are unable to comment further."