Elmbridge Council New Street Trading Consent Scheme

There has been discontent amongst some High Street traders recently, particularly those in the food industry, regarding the increase in street traders who are not subject to the same business rates or trading regulations as those in a ‘bricks and mortar’ street location.

Elmbridge Borough Council has previously not operated a street trading consent scheme, so traders could not seek permission to trade on the public highway.

As of the 1 September 2019, a consent scheme has been introduced and street traders will have to apply for a consent to trade in the borough, either from a fixed location on the road or as a peripatetic (mobile) trader such as an ice-cream van.

All streets and roads right across Elmbridge have now been designated as either consent streets or prohibited streets in relation to street trading. From the 1st of September trading from the highway without a street trading consent or trading in a prohibited street is an offence.

One very interesting factor that will be considered when reviewing an application for consent is:

“The demand for the articles for sale, and the geographical location of the proposed site. Where similar items are offered by traders from fixed premises in the locality it is unlikely a consent will be granted if the business exists within 200 metres. Applicants will need to clearly specify what their proposed offer will be. “

Elmbridge Borough Council have said of the scheme: 

“Traders will be required to submit an online application and provide key details and information, so we and our partners including the Police, Surrey County Council and Highways, can determine if a request for consent should be granted. There is a fee that is payable to obtain a street trading consent and the consent will be required to be renewed on an annual basis. There is no automatic right to renewal.

There are some roads where street trading is prohibited and a consent will not be granted.

  • A245 (Byfleet Road) from the Painshill roundabout to the junction with Brooklands Road
  • A244 (Warren lane), Oxshott – all along its entire length
  • Copsem Lane, Esher – all along its entire length
  • Claremont Lane, Esher – all along its entire length
  • A309 (Hampton Court Way) all along its entire length
  • A307 (Portsmouth Road, Esher) from the Scilly Isles to Fairmile Lane”

Whilst there is a fee applied to the consent application process (around £1000 per year) this doesn’t quite level the playing field with those bricks and mortar High Street traders.

Its also unclear whether there will be a limit or any kind of restrictions placed on the number of operators being given consent.

The official Elmbridge Street Trading Policy states:

“This Policy sets out the framework for the management of street trading in Elmbridge. The street trading scheme will enable the Council to regulate the location and number of street traders operating in the borough.

Whilst we recognise the importance of mobile street trading businesses to the local economy and the character of the area, we will endeavour to ensure that the activities do not cause nuisance or annoyance to the people in the area.

The scheme and its associated conditions aim to ensure local businesses and communities are not adversely affected by street trading. The scheme aims to prevent the obstruction of the streets and minimise the risk to public or harm the environment caused by street trading activities.”

In order to apply for Street Trading Consent the following must be provided:

  • A completed and electronically signed Street Trading Consent Application form
  • The correct application fee
  • Where the proposed street activity is from a fixed position, the specific trading location needs to be detailed on the ‘location finder function’ showing the proposed site
  • Electronic image (colour photographs) of the vehicle / unit that will be used for the street trading activity
  • Dimensions of the vehicle / unit in metres / cm, (Length, Height, Width)
  • A certificate of Indemnity and Public and Products Liability Insurance requirements needs to be provided that meet the insurance requirements of the council as set out in Annex 4 of this Policy
  • If handling food, a copy of the current Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering certificate for all food handlers working on the unit should be provided if available
  • Proof of a valid Waste Transfer Contract in place for commercial waste.
  • Proof of the applicant’s and any prospective employee’s right to work in the UK.
  • Current valid gas safety certificate for the vehicle or stall if applicable.
  • A current Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for all applicants.

Before a Street Trading Consent is granted or refused the Council will carry out a consultation process with the following organisations:

  • Surrey County Council Highways Services
  • Surrey Police – Road Safety and Traffic Management Team
  • Ward Councillors
  • Claygate Parish Council (If propose trading in Claygate)
  • Planning
  • Environmental Health and Licensing
  • Surrey Fire and Rescue
  • A public notice will be displayed close to where the street trading is proposed
  • The Council may also consult business and the public in area

Written observations from the above organisations will be sought and taken into consideration when determining an application. The consultation period will be 28 days.

The Street Trading Policy goes on to cite examples where consent would not normally be given:

  • A significant effect on road safety would arise either from the siting of the trading activity itself, or from customers visiting or leaving the site, such as the pitch interferes with sight lines for any road users at road junctions, or pedestrian crossing facilities or similar
  • There is a conflict with Traffic Orders such as waiting restrictions.
  • There are insufficient public parking areas to allow traders and customers to park without obstructing local business and residents access.
  • The site or pitch obstructs either pedestrian or vehicular access, or traffic flows, or places pedestrians in danger when in use for street trading purposes.
  • The trading unit obstructs the safe passage of users of the footway or carriageway.
  • The proposed items on sale would be in direct competition with an existing trader within a 200m radius.
  • The supply of hot or cold food and drinks or confectionery between 07:30 and 18:00 is proposed within 200 metres of the boundary of a school or college.
  • There is likely to be odour or noise complaints from the operation of the unit

You can view the Street Trading Policy in full here:

Street Trading Policy 2019

Guidance notes are here:

Guidance Notes – Street Trading Consent

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