Crawley Borough Council is calling for expressions of interest from businesses who would like to operate a mobile cafe in the Memorial Gardens.
The announcement was greeted with concern by some older members of the public who felt the land was protected from such use under restrictive covenants written into the land deeds, which are held by the Charities Commission.
Crawley historian Nadine Hygate said: “A lot of newcomers do not know that the land is the war memorial, not the gates, and they do things on that land that shows no respect.”
A council spokesman said the trader be permitted to sell hot and cold drinks and ice creams and that the decision followed feedback from visitors to the gardens who said they would like to see refreshments made available.
He added: “The Charities Commission and the council’s legal team believe that a mobile concession for the sale of snacks and coffees would be acceptable under the terms of the covenant, with any profit being re-invested back into the maintenance of the Memorial Gardens.