The van, whose owner has worked in the area for 40 years, has been barred from entering a street after a resident lobbied the council saying the tune fills them with ‘constant dread’
An ice cream man has been banned from a street because a neighbour moaned the tune it plays is distressing.
The trader, who has worked in the area for forty years, was penalised after council officers encouraged a resident to covertly film the ice cream man.
The local authority probed whether the van broke little-known legal limits on how long the chimes are allowed to be sounded for.
Mohamed Lamarti, who runs vans under the ‘Lamarti’s’ banner, said he had lost sleep over the wrangle.
Documents reveal a resident submitted over the top complaints to East Suffolk Council, describing the van as a “noise nuisance” that “makes me feel anxious and upset on a daily basis”.
It adds: “The constant loud and prolonged noise is very alarming as I have sensitive hearing and I live in constant dread of the ice cream van driving onto the street…”
Another missive moaned that some ice cream van drivers “are unaware of the rules and regulations” and demanded the “totally unacceptable” situation be resolved “with the utmost urgency” in an exclamation point-littered email.
Another accused the van’s driver of having “very little respect for other people’s right to live in peace”.
In papers published by the council as part of the licensing process, local authority officials can be seen encouraging residents to snoop on the vans.
One reply to a complaint reads: “Can I ask that the next time that they are there, is it possible to take any video of them playing the chimes etc. as this could prove useful (but only if you feel comfortable doing this).”
East Suffolk Council bowed to pressure from the resident and banned it from entering Ashfield Crescent in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Mr Lamarti insists he “wasn’t doing anything wrong” and had been left with a bitter taste over the incident.
He told the Mirror: “I was a bit disappointed that the council told the person who complained to take pictures of my van and send it to them.
“I wasn’t very happy with that – would you be? No, it’s all behind your back, why don’t they just come up to you and tell you and that’s that. It was all for nothing, really.”
Mr Lamarti, who has guided his business through a difficult period during lockdown, said: “It did give me a few sleepless nights because I’ve been trading for forty years and all of a sudden you get this. I’m glad it’s all over now.”
An East Suffolk Council spokesperson said they took action over “a number of complaints regarding trading in prohibited locations and with the business having a record of previous incidents of unlawful trading”.
The statement continues: “In addition to complaints about unlawful trading, we had received a complaint regarding the chimes from a Lamarti’s ice cream van whilst in Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, which the complainant felt were being played excessively.
“The committee did not feel the complaint about the chimes, having only come from one person, was sufficient to revoke trading consent and to prevent further issues, Mr Lamarti suggested refraining from visiting Ashfield Crescent which the committee agreed was a sensible approach.
“However, it was felt that Mr Lamarti should have been sufficiently aware of the requirements for street trading consent, having been previously prosecuted and also having recently received extensive correspondence from the council in which the requirements were clearly explained.
“The committee allowed Lamarti’s to continue to operate in East Suffolk, albeit with additional conditions imposed on the licence, one of which was a ban from Ashfield Crescent and an understanding that any further breaches will be investigated.”