Residents will have more say about new street traders in Bracknell after the council approved changes to its licensing policy.

The changes come just days after Bull Lane residents successfully lobbied to revoke the trading consent of popular kebab van A&A Plus, claiming that they were not consulted its consent to trade about last year.

A licensing panel heard about noise and smell issues affecting the neighbours and one of the Bull Lane residents told the News: “I feel that we were never consulted about this kebab van turning up, it was just suddenly on our doorstep.

“We had no input whatsoever.

“How can anybody not be upset by that? This all could have been avoided from the very beginning.”

Councillors agreed various changes to their street trading licensing policy in order to avoid a repeat of the kebab van incident.

Residents who live next to, opposite or behind a site will be notified when a licence application is made relating to the area.

Furthermore, properties sharing a boundary with the site that has been applied for will be notified, with other properties that could potentially be affected by a new street trader to be judged by the licensing officer deciding on the application.

The new guidelines instruct the licence applicant to put up a public notice at the proposed site throughout the following consultation period “to advise members of the public that an

application has been submitted”.

Speaking at the licensing committee meeting, Cllr Dr Gareth Barnard said: “I would have thought we would have done this anyway.

“I think if you look at recent cases it has been the impact on the neighbours which has been the central issue on this.”

“This is something all councillors can be at the front of when it happens.”

Cllr Jim Finney raised a licensing case in Crowthorne which led to complaints being forwarded to the chief executive of the council.

Licensing officer Charlie Fletcher said the changes had been made in order to “provide greater resident awareness” of licensing applications.

A report produced for the licensing committee read: “Neighbour notification will allow immediate neighbours an opportunity to consider the application and respond if appropriate.”

Because they were not informed of the kebab van’s application to trade, the Bull Lane residents were forced to make representations after the van started selling kebabs.

The resident said: “We’ve had a year of it and we’ve had a lot to deal with.

“We could have well done without having to deal with this and gather all this evidence, it’s taken a lot of time out of our lives.

“We’re just happy that it’s all over now.”

Other changes will see licensing officers being asked to consider more of the application’s suitability should the plans be approved.

Previously the policy stated the officer should assess the suitability of the site, but new changes mean they will now be asked to consider the hours of operation and the nature of trade proposed in this process too.

Until now only borough councillors responsible for the ward affected were consulted on the licensing application but these changes will also give town and parish councillors the chance to voice their concerns or recommendations too.