Burger off! Stoke Newington GP furious as neighbouring cab firm sets up food van outside entrance

Dr Luke Salih outside the Abney House Medical Centre, which now has a burger van directly outside. P

Dr Luke Salih outside the Abney House Medical Centre, which now has a burger van directly outside. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A whopping row has broken out over a Stoke Newington minicab firm’s decision to set up a burger van in its car park – yards from a GP surgery.

Ilker Camur, of Premier Cars on the corner of Church Street and Defoe Road, says he decided to provide his own service for drivers because Church Street cafes “don’t want their custom”.

He got approval from the council for the van, which is in a private bay and perfectly legal, but the “smell” of burgers and onions being grilled is really getting up the noses of doctors at Abney House Medical Centre.

Dr Luke Salih told the Gazette: “They have plonked a caravan selling burgers a few feet from the entrance to our surgery. Patients are complaining about the smell and the inappropriateness of the vendor selling such unhealthy foods immediately in front of the surgery. The van is four feet from our door. It’s causing us no end of distress.”

Dr Salih has asked the council for help. Asked whether he’d spoken to Premier Cars, he added: “Never mind speaking to we’ve nearly had punch-ups! They just say they don’t care.”

City and Hackney GP Confederation CEO Laura Sharpe added: “It seems really ironic to me that there is a burger van right outside a GP practice when we are all focusing on advising patients about eating healthily.”

Ilker dismissed the complaints and said he was now being visited regularly by town hall officers. He said: “They’ve visited us 17 times in one month to bully us into shutting it down, despite us complying with all rules and regulations. There would be exhaust fumes if cars were parking there. There’s no smell whatsoever from the burger van. They’ve got bins right outside their door, the smell is probably coming from there. They have a right to complain. And if they find I’m doing something I am not supposed to do I will comply.”

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Ilker, who was worked at Premier for 10 years, said the changing face of the area gave him the idea for the van.

“We have drivers who are low income earners and Church Street has become a place where businesses only want to supply to the prestigious, elite members of society,” he said. “We’ve heard a few times that drivers are not wanted in the coffee shops because they are distracting customers. So I thought: ‘Fine, if people don’t want their custom I will provide a service’.”

A town hall spokesperson said permission for the van to be there would expire in early November.