AN artisan pizza van will set up shop in Thornbury High Street and a village hall car park after councillors gave the go-ahead despite residents’ objections.

South Gloucestershire Council licensing sub-committee granted a street trading permit to Italian cousins Esra Koroglu Ward and Ayse Ozer who run The One Pizza.

The pair, who have sold home-made, hand-stretched pizzas in Frenchay for the last 12 months, were praised by the panel and licensing officers for having an “immaculate” van, keeping the site clean, serving fresh, healthy produce and having a five-star food hygiene rating.

Two Thornbury neighbours objected to the High Street application saying it would create “unbearable” noise, along with litter and public nuisance.

A rival trader who sells similar food complained that the pair should not be allowed to have the van at Charfield Memorial Hall car park in Wotton Road.

But the sub-committee granted a licence for both sites.

Gazette Series: One Pizza van owners Ayse Ozer (centre) and Esra Koroglu Ward (right) at South Gloucestershire Council licensing sub-committee yesterday, Thursday, May 2One Pizza van owners Ayse Ozer (centre) and Esra Koroglu Ward (right) at South Gloucestershire Council licensing sub-committee yesterday, Thursday, May 2

Esra told the hearing on Thursday, May 2, that although they had applied for the permit from Tuesday to Saturday, they would be at each location only once a week and that it gave them flexibility to change the day.

She said the 11am to 9pm times on the application for Charfield would be much shorter and they would coincide their opening hours with events at the hall.

Esra, a former librarian, told the panel: “Pizza has become our passion.

“Our van is our life – we put in our life savings.

“We believe in healthy eating, and all our ingredients are freshly bought from a local supplier who uses authentic Italian ingredients.

“We make our own dough and we take pride in that.”

She said the noise from the van’s petrol generator was only as loud as a conversation in the street.

Esra said the pair encouraged customers to pre-order so they did not have to wait for the pizzas to cook in the wood-fired oven, which meant parking was not an issue.

Licensing officer Andrew Forbes said the council revoked a Thornbury High Street kebab van’s street trading licence a few years ago because of antisocial behaviour from customers after pub closing hours but that The One Pizza would be gone by 9pm.

He told the hearing: “The van is immaculate and their reputation with other authorities is impeccable.

“There have been no complaints or issues after 12 months at Frenchay.

“They come to us as a licensing service to ask questions because they want to learn.

“I commend the ladies on how they have done their business model.”

Granting the licences, sub-committee chairman Cllr Keith Cranney (Conservative, Stoke Gifford) told them: “You ooze passion for what you’re doing.”