Changes will make the application process for street trading quicker and more efficient

East Devon District Council is revising its approach to street trading after listening to the concerns of community groups and others to its policy introduced last year.

The council introduced the new system last October after extensive consultation. The aim of the new policy is to encourage new local business activity and add to the vitality and footfall of coastal and market towns in the district.

However, since the introduction of the policy, some people have said that the new system can be confusing and inflexible.

The council believes that having a street trading regime is positive as the new regime means that street trading can now be carried out in areas of the district where it was previously illegal. The council has also emphasised that it needs to have a policy in place to control the quality and suitability of street trading activities and where they occur.

The process for applying and receiving a consent for street trading has now been reviewed and the council has decided to:

  • Remove the fee for applying for street trading consent,
  • Make the guidance clearer on activities which are not covered by street trading,
  • Increase the activities that the council, as a matter of choice, considers will not require consent, 
  • Make the application form shorter and less detailed and remove some of the supporting requirements which were considered to be time-consuming,
  • Make the process for applying for block consents easier with individual traders able to provide details for approval up to two days before the event.
  • Improve the procedure for dealing with applications so that it is more streamlined.

Cllr Steve Hall, the chairman of the council’s licensing and enforcement committee, said:

These changes have been identified as being necessary to ensure that the street trading consent process delivers in the way which was intended.

We will now have a quick and efficient system which will enable traders to lawfully trade without being overly complicated. While it is right that those looking to trade are enabled to do so, it is also important that the council retains control over trading activities so that we benefit from quality and appropriate offerings, which will be good for the district as a whole.

The changes we have made now present a fair balance between these two objectives and we are sure that the economy of the district will benefit as a consequence.