Retrospective planning permission has been granted for a shipping container containing a street food restaurant to remain at its site in the heart of Porthleven – despite opposition from the town council.

The street food business is based in the old StrEATkitchen (formerly known as Big Eats) container on Commercial Road, which formerly belonged to Jason Bardell.

The business was brought by Clare and Marlon Bush in April who renamed it Cargo and operate from the shipping container on the corner of Shute Lane (to the North) and Commercial Road/Harbour Road (to the West).

The business was brought by Clare and Marlon Bush in AprilThe business was brought by Clare and Marlon Bush in April (Image: Cargo)

It is an area of previously disused land between Philp’s Bakery and Porthleven Fish & Chips, with the adjacent land used as parking for staff and visitors of The Harbour Inn.

Jason sold the business in February to focus on his health and to continue his family-run festival catering business of 11 years.

However the retrospective planning permission to keep the shipping container in situ was applied for in Mr Bardell’s name in the same month.

Conditional planning approval, including the change of use of the site to Use Class A1, was granted in February 2020 for an undercover marketplace under a stretch tent.

Big Eats Street Kitchen operated a restaurant/take-away on the site from a converted 30’ shipping container and associated storage, for which the retrospective planning approval was sought. 

The application followed the removal of the covered market in 2020, the vacant site was occupied by Big Eats Kitchen since May 2021.

“They provide a unique and popular restaurant/takeaway service to the local community and surrounding area from the site and seek to obtain the change of use and planning approval for the site,” said the application.

However the application was opposed by Porthleven Town Council who objected to the permanent siting of a shipping container within the conservation area.

However it said it would be open to receiving an application for a more permanent structure that was in keeping with the conservation area.

The application was also opposed by the Historic Environment Planning which raised concerns to the “appropriateness of a 20ft metal shipping container permanently sited within the core of Porthleven Conservation Area, given its setting of C19 residential and service buildings”.

It added: “It does not seem appropriate that a 30 ft shipping container is deemed to be of appropriate material construction nor design to enhance the Conservation Area on a permanent basis.”

However despite the objections the application was approved by Cornwall Council.