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.
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:
Before a Street Trading Consent is granted or refused the Council will carry out a consultation process with the following organisations:
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:
You can view the Street Trading Policy in full here:
Guidance notes are here:
Guidance Notes – Street Trading Consent
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