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'I'm just trying to earn a living' - Burger van owner 'threatened' after parking in lay-by

PUBLISHED: 13:01 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 05 September 2019

Paul Lumley, 62, runs the burger van, Lumley's Snack Bar. Picture: Liz Rouse.

Paul Lumley, 62, runs the burger van, Lumley's Snack Bar. Picture: Liz Rouse.

Archant

A burger chef told to move his food van three times in the last two months is hoping to find a permanent home for his business.

Paul Lumley, 62, is hoping to find a permanent spot for his burger van after being asked to leave a lay-by outside Scratby. Picture: Courtesy of Liz Rouse.Paul Lumley, 62, is hoping to find a permanent spot for his burger van after being asked to leave a lay-by outside Scratby. Picture: Courtesy of Liz Rouse.

Paul Lumley, 62, has been running Lumley's Snack Bar for the past three years.

After having to leave a site outside builders merchant Ridgeons, in Halesworth, he decided to move his van to a lay-by in Scratby, not far from his home in Ormesby.

He said he parked the van there on Monday (September 2), hoping to catch the passing trade, but two people claiming to be from the local parish council told him he had to leave.

"They said you'll be taking business away from local business," Mr Lumley said.

A lay-by on Scratby Road. Picture: Google Maps.A lay-by on Scratby Road. Picture: Google Maps.

Norfolk Police have investigated reports that two people approched Mr Lumley and made comments about where the van was parked.

However, due to lack of evidence, the investigation has been closed.

Norfolk Police have confirmed they received a report of two threats being made to Mr Lumley and officers are due to visit him on Wednesday (September 4).

Chairman of Ormesby St Margaret with Scratby Parish Council, Adrian Peck, said he was not aware of any parish councillors approaching the burger van.

Paul Lumley, 62, is hoping to find a permanent spot for his burger van after being asked to leave a lay-by outside Scratby. Picture: Courtesy of Liz Rouse. Paul Lumley, 62, is hoping to find a permanent spot for his burger van after being asked to leave a lay-by outside Scratby. Picture: Courtesy of Liz Rouse.

The parish council had no policy on such vans unless they are parked on council land, he said.

Mr Lumley, upset by the encounter, packed up the van and returned home.

"I'm just trying to earn a living," he said.

He had been selling burgers outside the Halesworth branch of Ridgeons for almost three years.

"It was ideal, I was quite happy," he said.

But in July he received a letter stating the company's new owners, Huw Gray, which bought Ridgeons last year, did not encourage food vans on their premises and that he would have to leave, he said.

A compromise was reached where Mr Lumley was allowed use a section of the land outside the business' perimeter fence.

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He said that four days later a second letter said he would have to clear off the site following a complaint from a neighbouring business.

Ridgeons has declined to comment.

Mr Lumley packed up his van and left Halesworth on August 23.

"I'm hoping to find a place to put the van, I just want to put the van in a spot on a permanent basis and earn a living just like everybody else," he said.

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