A street trader has challenged a South London council’s plans to ban ice cream vans from several streets.

Greenwich Council has moved forward with plans to ban ice cream trading on over 30 streets across the borough in a new street trading policy.

Council documents said ice cream trading on 33 streets across Woolwich and Greenwich town centres could be banned due to their ‘impact’ on public amenities and the ‘nuisance’ it can attract.

The list includes King William Walk near Greenwich Park, which officers said was ‘sensitive’ in terms of its appearance and character due to being within a World Heritage site and Conservation Area.

News Shopper: A map of all the streets surrounding Greenwich town centre where ice cream vans could be bannedA map of all the streets surrounding Greenwich town centre where ice cream vans could be banned

The topic was discussed at a cabinet meeting for Greenwich Council on November 15. David Dadds, speaking on behalf of ice cream vendor Paul Saint-Hilaire, said the trader had not been able to sell ice cream on King William Walk for six years after the council prohibited the street.

He claimed Mr Saint-Hilaire had previously been granted a licence to trade on the street in court.

He added: “We traded for a year, and during that year there was no public nuisance, no undue interference with the pedestrians or vehicles. No harm was caused by selling ice cream on King William Walk.”

Mr Dadds claimed that the Local Government Ombudsman said that council officers’ reasoning behind the ban of ice cream trading on King William Walk was not sound.

He said that the claims made by officers about the nuisance caused by such trading had already been contested in the crown court.

He added: “The judge was appreciative that there were other traders from the council, sorry to say, in the World Heritage Site, and the local authority was saying, ‘Well there’s already ice cream there.’ But the judge said this, ‘There might have been quite nice posh ice cream in the museum and the park but people sometimes can’t afford it.’

News Shopper: A map of all the streets surrounding Woolwich town centre where ice cream vans could be bannedA map of all the streets surrounding Woolwich town centre where ice cream vans could be banned

"There might be a mum in tow with a child who wants to just buy Mr Whippy from the van, and it has a different price point.”

The solicitor asked for the council to consider either allowing ice cream traders to return to King William Walk, or defer the decision on the new street trading policy until more information on the topic could be collected.

A legal advisor said at the meeting that the matters arising from court and the ombudsman were not up for consideration, with the cabinet only reviewing the points raised in the officers’ report.

Council documents said a consultation was carried out on the new street trading policy from July to August this year, which received two responses.

The plans, if approved, would see vendors with ice cream vans being able to trade for up to 15 minutes on permitted streets in the borough. Traders would then have to move and would not be able to return to the same street on the same day.

They added: “The vision for Royal Borough of Greenwich’s street trading is to create a street trading environment that compliments premises-based trading, is sensitive to the needs of residents and provides diversity and consumer choice.”

Officers said in their report that the council’s current street trading policy, dating back to 2015, was outdated and had limited flexibility for traders. They said that the new policy would allow for temporary street trading licences to be issued by the council.

Labour Councillor Mariam Lolavar, cabinet member for business and economic growth, said at the meeting: “In terms of the ice cream trading policy specifically, I do think what we’ve tried to do is strike the right balance.

"We’re trying to get that balance between itinerant trading across hundreds of locations across the borough and controlling and preventing that fixed trading in sensitive locations.”

The cabinet agreed to the draft street trading policy at the meeting, which will be presented to the full council for a later decision.