East Devon District Council

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Policy Street trading policy and application guidance

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1. Introduction

  1. East Devon District Council (“the Council”) has adopted Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 with regards to street trading within its area. This means the Council can properly regulate those who sell articles without the use of ordinary business premises and those traders who move from place to place. The Council has designated all of its administrative area as a consent street for street trading purposes, except a small part of Sidmouth in which street trading is prohibited. This means that in the consent streets anyone wanting to street trade must obtain consent from the Council first.
  2. The requirement to obtain a consent for any street trading is wide-ranging and would include, for example, all hot and cold food vendors selling burgers, kebabs, doughnuts, ice cream etc., and all vendors of non-food products from any vehicle, stall, barrow, trailer, or any other moveable or static structure. Mobile artists who sketch or paint, or similar artisans who sell their own work may also be subject to the requirement to have consent depending on the circumstances.
  3. These guidelines have been developed to assist those applying for street trading consents in East Devon and sets out the standards for determination of applications and the enforcement of street trading activities in the East Devon area to ensure a consistent approach. However each application or contravention will be considered on its merits so that individual circumstances, where appropriate, are taken into consideration.
  4. Advice should be sought from the Licensing Team on the proposed activity/location to see if a consent is required before starting to trade – see paragraph 12 for contact details.
  5.  Within this document the following definitions apply:
    • Street Trading:
      Means the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) in any street.  From this definition, any person offering purely a service e.g. a shoeshine (where there are no tangible goods such as a picture or sketch) will not be subject to the street trading legislation.
    • Street Includes:
      • Any road, footway, beach or other area to which the public have access without payment.
      • A service area as defined in section 329 of the Highways Act 1980,and also includes any part of a street.
    • Consent Street:
      Means a street in which street trading is prohibited without the consent of East Devon District Council.
    • Consent:
      Means a consent to trade on a street by East Devon District Council.
    • Consent Holder:
      Means the person or company to whom the consent to trade on a street has been granted by East Devon District Council.
    • Authorised Officer:
      Means an officer employed by East Devon District Council and authorised by the Council to act in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.
  6. Exempt Activities
    Shops and petrol filling stations (including selling in the street adjoining such premises provided it is part of the business of the premises) are not caught by the requirements to have a street trading consent. In addition, certain other activities are exempt from street trading rules. These include;
    • Pedlars, markets or fairs where the right is granted through any enactment or order, trading in a trunk road picnic area, news vendors (unless the stall exceeds a certain size) and roundsman (this does not include mobile ice cream sellers).
  7. In addition, the Council, as a matter of policy choice, will not require any consents to be applied for or held where the residential occupier of a property is selling items which are surplus to domestic requirements (e.g. home grown / produced jams, fruit, vegetables, eggs etc) provided the sale is within the curtilage of the property or immediately adjacent to it and it is not a commercial concern.
  8. Activities where fee concession may apply
    The Council may remit all or part of the payment of application fees for the following street trading activities;
    • Fetes or community events held for charitable or community purposes (no trading for private gain for an individual or company permitted)
    • Non-commercial car boot sales (where event organisers whether an individual or company do not profit)
  9. Consents
    Generally consents will be granted for specified / fixed locations. In the case of mobile/itinerant street traders where there is a genuine need to ply trade in many locations, being those who move from street to street but trade for less than 30 minutes at any one point and who don’t return to a similar trading position within 2 hours (e.g. an ice-cream van or fish & chip van), a general consent will be issued on a daily basis. General consents will only be issued for consent streets and not for prohibited locations. 
  10. Consents may be granted on a daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal or yearly basis. No consent shall be longer than 12 months. All consents will expire on the expiry date and for trading to continue after the expiry date a new consent will need to be in place.