East Devon District Council

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Guide Street trading consultation

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3. Our proposal

East Devon is a small business economy with many sole traders.  We are a strong farming and food production location with coastal and market towns and communities set within a strong rural and coastal environment.  To make the most of these strengths we want to encourage more opportunities for markets, festivals and street trading across our settlements. 

To these ends we are proposing to designate the whole of the district as a consent street.

This would mean that if anyone wanted to street trade in East Devon they would have to apply to us for consent and also have to get permission from landowners if the location wasn’t on public land, for example a superstore car park. In this way we would be able to actively and positively manage street trading and consider each application on its own merits, retaining control and promoting quality, whilst being more flexible and encouraging business.

Clear control would be retained and strengthened as part of considering each application for a street trading licence. We would consult the local Town or Parish Council and relevant East Devon District Councillors. The process would be carefully managed to make sure the quality of the street trading is of a high standard. If permission were given for people to street trade they would have to meet certain requirements such as having a stall that looks good and sticking to set hours that the stall would be trading.  

We would charge a fee to people who apply to us for a licence to street trade. Legislation allows for consent to be revoked at any time in certain circumstances.

We want this change to compliment rather than compete with our existing shops and businesses and encourage even more local producers and artisans.  We would like to explore ways of joining street trading to other support to our towns and local economies including promotions and publicity, car parking charge flexibility, street closures, entertainment and events.  

*Honiton High Street and a part of Axminster town centre have ancient charters that allow their weekly markets to take place. This proposal does not apply to these areas as the charter exempts it from being controlled by this more modern legislation.