Jacket potato sellers are counting their chips after winning a long battle to return to Hounslow High Street.
Natalie and Robert Bunn had been trading outside Barclays bank, where they built up a loyal customer base, since May 2009.
But they were forced off the high street, along with a number of market traders, when the council set up a world food market at the east end of the shopping parade in April this year.
The husband-and-wife duo, who have two young children, have been fighting since then to reclaim their spot.
They were finally awarded a temporary licence by councillors at last Tuesday’s licensing panel meeting and began trading again on Monday.
Mrs Bunn said the last eight months had been a huge struggle, especially after having invested £27,000 on a new unit, but they were delighted to be back.
“We’re so grateful for the support from councillors, shopkeepers and our old customers. We’re looking forward to being a part of the high street’s regeneration,” added the 30-year-old.
The couple did operate at the world food market for three weeks after it opened but gave up their pitch as they were making a loss. In a letter to the licensing panel, they had accused the council’s licensing team of having ‘played with our lives and financial security’.
The decision to grant the Bunns a licence raises further questions about the future of the world food market, following criticism over the quality of produce and the rubbish generated. It also potentially opens the door for other market traders to return to the high street.
Ice cream seller Laurence Vella lost his licence to trade in Hounslow High Street in March this year. The 57-year-old, of Teddington, this week said he had no option but to sell his home because it had proved impossible to find anywhere else to operate.
Hounslow town centre manager Patricia Huertas had opposed the Bunns being granted a licence, claiming it would ‘set a precedent for other traders’