There is now more demand for traders to sell alcohol at markets, festivals, weddings and events

How does our Licensing team deal with street trading and temporary alcohol licenses in East Devon

East Devon District Council’s Licensing team, supported by the Environmental Health and StreetScene services, is responsible for the daily management of street trading in East Devon.

Street trading concerns any item sold in a street or public place and so this means that anyone who would like to use a public highway, footpaths, parks or other open spaces to trade will have to obtain a street trading consent from the licensing team. Areas include land where the public have access without paying, for example markets, lay-bys and car parks.

Laws were first introduced during the early 1980s allowing councils to decide where street trading could take place, with many councils allowing district wide street trading. Recently the popularity of farmers/artisan/Christmas markets has increased with many cities and towns holding seasonal markets and festivals. Over recent years this council has seen an uplift in enquiries from traders hoping to street trade and it is known there is public support for these ventures. Research shows that markets and street trading can have a positive impact on local areas and their economies by increasing the footfall of people coming in, as well as attracting them to other businesses.

In the autumn of 2017 East Devon District Council completed the work that allowed more street trading locations in towns and villages if traders and market organisers apply to obtain a Street Trading Consent. Being similar to a licence, those traders who apply need to provide details of their insurance, food hygiene ratings along with what they plan to sell and from where. There is no licence fee payable to obtain a Street Trading Consent in East Devon. The licensing team will then consult with local town and parish councils and other agencies such as the police and highways are also consulted before granting a consent. The local consultation considers whether each application is suitable and safe. Usually an application period for obtaining a Street Trading Consent is a minimum of two weeks providing all details are provided but can take longer. 

When local objections are made by councils or other authorities it may be the case that the person applying has to change the location or to give further information. There is also the possibility that when an application to street trade is unsuitable or unsafe that it may not be granted in the requested location.

In a similar way to street trading, there is now more demand for traders to sell alcohol at markets, festivals, weddings and events, which would have not been possible before. The licensing laws changed in 2005, allowing people over the age of 18 to sell beer, cider, wine or other alcohol for a short period of time if they submit a Temporary Event Notice application to the local council licensing team. In that same year, licensing duties that had been completed by the police were passed over to district councils.

There is a fee for each Temporary Event Notice of £21 and provided that the person applying can submit all the details about the event, a Temporary Event Notice can be granted. A Temporary Event Notice can last from just a few hours for an event such as a wedding celebration, to up to seven days. There is also a limit to the number of people who may be able to attend. Temporary Event Notices can be issued within one day of the Licensing team receiving them, although an objection can take longer.

The Police and Environmental Health officers have the right to object to Temporary Event Notices if they believe that there are certain risks caused by an event.

The council’s licensing team always examines applications for Street Trading and Temporary Event Notice carefully and complete all necessary checks on the application. Traders who may want to attend a market selling locally produced cider or beer, need both a Street Trading Consent to allow trading in a public place and also a Temporary Event Notice for the legal sale of the alcohol. The advice of the licensing team is to apply weeks or even months in advance of an event.

More information about street trading, applying for licences and how to make a complaint about an event or a trader is available on the council’s website. There is also a list of forthcoming events in your area that have obtained Temporary Event Notices.