A BOUTIQUE and gallery are among city businesses that have complained about a “smelly” fish and chip van in a move that could see it stripped of its right to trade.
Five complaints have sparked an Oxford City Council review of Goujon Monkey’s street trading consent over noise and smells.
But one of the van’s owners said it adds to a “vibrant and cosmopolitan city”.
Aidan Meller, of Aidan Meller Galleries, which the outlet is parked in front of, told the council: “I am a specialist gallery, and every piece of art work I have is rare and of high value.
“They are works on sensitive materials, and I am extremely concerned that the smell might be absorbed and damage any works we have that are exposed.”
He said: “Outside our front door is a generator going, a radio going and frying smells wafting in.
“It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.”
Simon Godfrey, owner of Italian boutique Isola, said the smell was making staff feel ill. He said: “The smell is impregnating all the clothes and lots of stock will not be saleable with such a smell.”
The Varsity Shop, which sells Oxford University products, said the odour gets into clothes and the council, which owns its building, should intervene.
“We pay some of the highest rates in the country and yet our landlord continues to not act when asked to intervene.”
Oxford Visitor Information Centre said: “I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy trying to work with someone running a generator right outside your window all day.”
Another unidentified business said: “We don’t want our merchandise smelling of fish.”
Tim Chapple, who owns Goujon Monkey with Matt Barlow, said they spent “a lot of time and effort and money” to reduce its impact.
He said: “We have the lowest noise generator on the market, it’s only at the level of a conversation.
“And we have done all we can to reduce any odour – we change the oil much more frequently than we are required to and we only use fresh produce.
“When you’re cooking food there is obviously going to be a smell, but we don’t think it is a strong smell.
“Oxford is a really vibrant and cosmopolitan city and I think it needs things like this, our food is high quality and all cooked to order.”
The council report said its officers made 10 visits from June 4 to 18 and “no odour nuisance or noise nuisance was observed”.
Members of the licensing and registration sub-committee will be asked to make a decision on Wednesday at Oxford Town Hall from 5.30pm.
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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