A SIMPLE request by a kebab seller to trade from the roadside in Swindon has called into question what a layby is – and drawn the threat of legal action.

Trader E Isitmen was given planning permission by Swindon Borough Council to park his van and work from what he described as a layby in Stirling Road in South Marston Trading Estate.

That application was opposed by the owners of the private land and road Metropolitan Railway Surplus Lands Company. Its managing agent James Platt of JLL said the company has refused permission to Mr Isitmen to trade from its property, and that planning permission does not trump the owner’s rights.

But the designation of the space as a ‘layby’ in the application drew an angry response from Neil Grant of the company Strategic Maintenance Planning, which operates from 4 Stanton Court in the estate.

Mr Grant wrote: “Companies or individuals who have been parking in the ‘layby’ have been ticketed and fined on numerous occasions and threatened with prosecution if the fine isn’t paid. It was established during the appeal that the ‘layby’ has been designated a ‘bulge in the road’ and therefore parking in the area was unlawful and the individual had the fine enforced and duly paid.”

Mr Grant said if the widening of the road at near the entrance to the industrial park – just south of the Supermarine Roundabout on Highworth Road – was now designated a layby his company would “take legal action regarding the previously imposed tickets and fines on behalf of all of our employees."