Shoppers and traders in one of Shropshire's most picturesque towns have called for a ban on ice cream vans which they claim threaten the traditional charm of the beauty spot.
Councillors in Ludlow, Shropshire, are now canvassing the views of residents on street trading in the historic town. A public consultation has started.
The town council decided to act after receiving complaints that the number of ice cream vans parked in its market square were obstructing views of its Norman castle.
Poet Sir John Betjeman once described the town as the “most perfect in England” and residents are determined to preserve its charm. Shop owners have also complained that new arrivals are taking their trade.
Town clerk Veronica Calderbank confirmed it was a “hot topic” councillors were working to tackle, after taking over management of street trading in April.
She said: “Shops seem to feel there are enough ice cream outlets and argue they aren’t making a profit, but in terms of the council decision arguments about money don’t stand.
"But if the town council feels enough ice cream is already being sold here, it can stop street sales.”
Several shops around the square sell ice cream and traders are protesting the mobile outlets are stealing custom.
Wendy Kirby, from Castle Lodge Buttery, said: “My rent is extremely high and my rates are, too, so to just see people come in from out of town and park up doesn’t seem fair.”
But Lorna Kendall, who runs the Wyvern Ices van, said: “We are the only ones in Ludlow selling soft ice cream so we aren’t in competition with anyone.”