Council has listened to people’s views and changed the proposals, but now needs people to express their views again

Having listened to the results of the consultation on an initial street trading proposal, East Devon District Council is now proposing to designate the whole of the district as a consent street, meaning street traders have to apply to the council for a licence to trade, with the exception of Sidmouth. Applications would be assessed by the district council, taking into account a wide variety of factors, and street traders would either be given or refused a licence to trade.

A variety of consultees will be told about each street trading application, asked for their views and their views will be taken into consideration. Street trading includes stalls at outdoor events, street stalls, street markets, outdoor markets, festivals, roadside food vans and food vans in car parks (including supermarket car parks). In fact, anything where someone is selling goods or services on the streets, or outside in pedestrian areas or open spaces constitutes street trading.

Street trading rules in Sidmouth would remain the same as they currently are with a general ban on street trading apart from during Folk Week.

To find out more and take part online, visit the street trading page on the East Devon.

All completed questionnaires must be back with the council by 5pm on Wednesday 26 April 2017. If you would like a paper copy of the consultation, a copy in large print or another format contact: or telephone 01395 517569.

The current rules

Currently there is a mixture of rules for street trading in East Devon:

  • In some places it is banned, so it can’t happen no matter who wants it to or why.  This includes the majority of the more central streets in Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton and Sidmouth
  • In a few places people have to apply to East Devon District Council for permission to trade, these are called consent streets. This currently only applies to six streets in the whole district.
  • In most of East Devon anyone can set up and street trade at any time, it is a free for all. This applies to the whole of Budleigh Salterton, Ottery St Mary, villages, more rural areas and less central areas of Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton and Sidmouth. 

Proposals for change

Last summer East Devon District Council asked residents, organisations, businesses and street traders what they thought of their proposal to designate the whole of East Devon as a consent street. This would have meant that if anyone wanted to street trade or have a street market in East Devon they would have to apply for permission, their application would be assessed by the district council, taking into account a wide variety of factors and they would either be given or refused a licence to trade.

The council received 198 completed questionnaires back. The results of this consultation showed there is a desire to extend street trading/street market opportunities in East Devon, with the notable exception of people and organisations who responded to the consultation from Sidmouth who were overwhelmingly against any relaxation of Sidmouth’s existing rules on street trading. Static businesses from throughout East Devon also expressed concern that street trading/street markets would take away their trade.

The council has revised its previous proposal in light of the consultation and is now putting forward this amended recommendation, which it wants your views on. 

Councillor Philip Skinner, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for economy, said:

I would like to thank everyone that gave us their views in the initial consultation, and would encourage them to have their say again. As shown, we did listen and make changes because of what people told us in the previous street trading consultation.

There would be a wide variety of factors taken into account when deciding whether street traders/street markets are given permission to trade, the list of factors we’ll take into account is one of the things we want people’s views on in this consultation. This list includes consideration of what nearby permanent businesses were concerned about in the previous consultation, including taking into account what the street traders want to sell, to avoid them selling the same things as nearby permanent businesses. 

Please note that 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 them from being controlled by this more modern legislation.