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 traders 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, drinks etc., and all vendors of non-food products from any vehicle, stall, barrow, trailer, bike 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 set 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. Initial contact should be made with 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.


    1. Any road, footway, beach or other area to which the public have access without payment.
    2. 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.

    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

Activities that are exempt or do not require consent

6.  The following are legally exempt from the need to obtain street trading consent;

    1. Shops and petrol filling stations (including selling in the street adjoining such premises provided it is part of the business of the premises).
    2. Operating properly as a pedlar (see our guidance for 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 roundsmen (although this does not include mobile ice cream sellers).

7.  The following are exempt from the need to obtain a street trading consent as a matter of policy choice;

    1. School, church or village fetes or fetes organized by town or parish Councils (or similar such events) where the event is not in close proximity to a commercial area.
    2. Funfairs or circuses where the primary purpose is the funfair or circus and the street trading activity is ancillary to the purpose, related to and in close proximity to the funfair or circus.
    3. Non-commercial car boot sales (where the event organiser whether an individual or company does not profit).
    4. Residential properties 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.
    5. Those activities that are so minor in nature that in the opinion of the Strategic Lead (Governance and Licensing) or Licensing Manager a street trading consent is not justified.

8.  The following activities do not fall within the requirement for a street trading consent;

    1. Educational / information / charity stands not selling any articles.
    2. Charitable street collections (there is a separate policy for this) including those with one or two tables selling items which solely benefit the charity.

Council Owned Land

9.  Any trading from any parks, car parks, open spaces, beaches or other land owned by East Devon District Council will require prior consent to hire the land and to  conduct the activity before trading can be approved. The Council aims to ensure that only one fee is charged for use of land, although other chargeable permits or licenses may be required (see point 37).

Privately Owned, Enclosed Land

10. Trading on privately owned land that abuts or joins any highway will usually require consent and persons wishing to trade from such areas should contact the Licensing Team prior to submitting an application or commencing trading. Trading on privately owned land may also require Street Trading Consent.

    Street trading consent may not be required for privately owned land where access is restricted to the public as a result of;

          a.  The public being required to make payment for entering, or
b.  Permanent, raised structural boundaries surrounding the trading location (walls, fencing and gates), or where access is gained by entering a building or
               premises, or
          c.  On land within the approved plan of any premises being licensed for sale of alcohol, for example public house gardens and other licensed outdoor areas.

Where trading is conducted directly onto any road or highway from an unrestricted location, street trading consent will be required.


11.  Generally consents will be granted for specified/fixed locations. In the case of mobile 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 20 minutes at any one point and who don’t return to a similar trading position within 2 hours (e.g. an ice-cream van and bikes), a general consent will be issued for a specified period of time. General consents will only be issued for consent streets and not for prohibited locations.

12.   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 further trading will require a new application to be made and granted. It is advised that a new application is applied for sufficiently in advance of the expiry date.

When this policy has been published and will be reviewed

Policy published 6 March 2020 (due for review by 2 October 2022)