‘Local Hero’ refused permission for takeaway

William Kivlin, who runs The Old School Takeaway from his home in Dalkeith, wanted to open a mobile cafe.

‘Local Hero’ refused permission for Dalkeith takeaway snack van Lee Live/LDRS

A food takeaway owner who was named a Local Hero by business leaders was refused permission to open his first snack van despite receiving more than 100 letters of support.

William Kivlin, who runs The Old School Takeaway from his home in Dalkeith, wanted to open a mobile cafe in a shipping container on the edge of Mayfield Park, in the town.

But Midlothian Council planners ruled it was too close to local schools breaching their 400 metre ban on takeaways warning it would attract pupils.

And Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council and Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust, who run a cafe in the park where Mr Kivlin said he used to volunteer, objected to the plans.

Now Mr Kivlin is appealing to the council’s Local Review Body to overturn the decision after questioning the officers’ measurements of the distance between it and nearby schools and offering to close during school lunch times.

A report to the review body next week says officers received four objections to the application for a change of use of the site at the park to allow the cafe to be sited there and 102 letters of support.

But they said: “The application site is approximately 250 metres from Newbattle High School which lies beyond the park to the east and 340 metres from Mayfield and St Lukes RC primary schools.

“The adopted statutory guidance states there shall be no takeaway
facilities within 400 metres of a primary or secondary school. This is to address the adverse impacts such uses have on the diets of young people and the health of communities.”

However officers acknowledged there were amendments which could allow it to go ahead if it closes during school break times.

Mr Kivlin received a Local Hero awards from Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce at their business awards earlier this year.

In the space of three years he went from living in a homeless shelter to setting up his takeaway business along with his partner operating from their home.

He persuaded a local business to help fund around 200 Christmas dinners which he cooked and delivered alongside a team of volunteers as well as donating gifts for children.

Appealing against the decision to refuse the change of use, he said: “This will be great for the town and an amazing opportunity to see the opportunities of having different businesses in Midlothian.”

He said the shipping container model for the new cafe was based on designs around the world and was a more sustainable way of running the business.

He added: “Before we started pursuing the project we asked loads of customers their thoughts on the idea and with their responses we can’t wait for an opportunity to bring something amazing to the park and everyone in the community.

“We are hoping to start a low funded hot meals on wheels programme for low income families in their area as well.”

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