A FISH and chip van accused of lowering the tone of a village - leading to it being labelled the snobbiest place in Britain - is for sale on eBay.

Donna and David Forster hoped they could turn around the fortunes of a mobile chip shop when they took it over from Mr Forster's aunty, Margaret Wilkins, and husband, Gary, in March.

Now the couple say they wish they had never set eyes on the van because it has brought them nothing but bad luck and debt.

The van became the centre of a media frenzy in January when residents and businesses claimed it lowered the tone of the affluent, historic village of Corbridge, in Northumberland.

Margaret, who named the chippy Margie's Cuisine, gave up the fight to win the village over, reluctantly relinquishing the van to her niece, Donna, who vowed to fight hard to save the business.

But with a baby on the way and losses from the business running into thousands, Donna, 24, and David, 35, are struggling to make ends meet.

David, who gave up his job as a taxi driver to help his wife with the chip van, said the venture was initially extremely profitable, despite damaging comments from one local businesswoman.

Kay Allinson-Cooke, chairwoman of the Corbridge Business and Visitor Network, was forced to apologise after making the claim that 90 per cent of people using the fish and chip van were from "local authority housing".

The couple estimate they have lost about £10,000, but it is not only the financial pressures that have taken a toll.

They are hoping to sell the shop for at least £14,800 in a last-ditch attempt to salvage something from the business. Bidding closes Friday.