A woodcarver has been granted permission to continue trading from a layby after claims he was causing an obstruction were dismissed. Des Petersen was back before Cornwall Council’s street trading sub committee for his application to continue working from a layby on the A3072 at Launcells, near Bude.

Mr Petersen runs his business Woodall Products from the layby between April and October, having first been granted a licence in 2017. However he has faced annual objections from Launcells Parish Council about his work there.

The woodcarver previously told the committee that he helped to keep the area clean and tidy including picking up used condoms from people who used the layby to engage in sexual activity. Mr Petersen said that he kept the layby used for “dogging” safe.

In 2020 he said: “This layby is a notorious dogging layby. It has calmed down over the years. It is a lot calmer now.

“The police know about it, everybody knows about it. I pick up all the litter down the north end (of the layby). There is another person who picks up at the south end. There is evidence there if you want to see it – used condoms that we found, it is all there on occasion.

“I have created at the north a safe and attractive environment for people to stop, take their dogs out and have a little look at the things that I have.

“I consider myself an environmentalist, I cut the grass, I pick up the litter. It is safe, there is no obstruction, there is no problem there.”

At the committee meeting yesterday Mr Petersen told councillors that he had been trading as a woodcarver for around 20 years and that he had established himself in the layby at Launcells since 2016.

He said that the layby was “huge” and is around 400metres in length and said that he had never caused an obstruction for others wanting to use the layby. Of the objection from the parish council he said: “They have been complaining about the colour of my gazebo, for selling my van, it has been continual objections. They say that the layby has been obstructed and every year they put in an objection. I have had buses come past me, lorries, articulated vehicles, I am not obstructing that layby and no official department and nobody has a major problem with me.

“Most of the public and my neighbours, they welcome me and they make me feel most welcome there. I am not asking for any amendments to my licence, I just want to continue trading there.”

There were no objections from highways officials or the police regarding Mr Petersen continuing to operate from the layby. He also submitted photographs to the committee showing large vehicles still being able to use the layby whilst he traded from the site.

The committee agreed unanimously to grant Mr Petersen’s application and said that whilst they considered the objection from Launcells Parish Council there was insufficient evidence that Mr Petersen was causing any obstruction to the layby or was posing any risk to public safety.

Mr Petersen thanked the committee for approving his application and added that he would “probably see you next year”.