Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Street trading in Sidmouth

At this evening's meeting to consider proposals for the District Council's beach huts
Futures Forum: Public meeting to address District Council's beach huts >>> Sidmouth: Tuesday 7th July

... the issue of 'street trading' was also debated, the overwhelming feeling among the fifty or so attendees being that such trading would be harmful to the long-term economic health of Sidmouth.

This has been an ongoing issue in Sidmouth for some time:
Mixed views on Sidmouth street trading - News - Sidmouth Herald (June 2008)

Indeed, the District Council looked at this in September 2012:
Vitality of High Streets and Town Centres - Task and Finish Forum

The District Council is seeking to reconsider these arrangements:

Now, East Devon District Council (EDDC) wants to turn the 1980s’ byelaw on its head and is set to debate the issue at the overview committee on June 30.

Instead of presuming that all street trading is banned, council officers are recommending that there should be a presumption that street trading is allowed everywhere, and applicants would then have to apply to EDDC for permission.

A council report said: “Almost all the centres of the towns in East Devon and esplanades are prohibited, so far as street trading is concerned. Even if the council wishes to permit street trading, it is prevented from doing so, except for those areas designated as ‘consent streets’.

“We now live in different times and, over recent years, enquiries to [carry out] street trade has increased as it seems it has the public support for these ventures, although not in all areas of the district. In particular, the advent of farmers’ markets, French markets and Christmas markets has shown how popular street trading has become.”

In 2013, EDDC’s licensing and enforcement committee backed a consultation to turn all of East Devon roads into a ‘consent street’.

The report added: “This would still permit the council to control street trading, but would give it flexibility to decide if and where and how such trading should take place.”

Street trading and markets set to be allowed on every Exmouth street - News - Exmouth Journal

The issue has now been considered at length by the Overview Cttee:
Overview Committee - East Devon

This comment was sent into the East Devon Watch blog:


4 JUL 2015

From a correspondent:

One of the interesting facts in the report to this week’s EDDC Overview Committee about street trading is the proposal that all currently Prohibited Streets in Sidmouth are proposed to be changed to be Consent streets as far as street trading is concerned.

Any applicant for a License to trade on one of these Consent streets must submit, as part of the application, the written consent of “the owner”.

In Sidmouth the beach is having its status changed from Prohibited to Consent for street trading from the mouth of the Sid westwards as far as Clifton cottage.

Now the Queen owns the beach up to the high tide mark for much of the UK – does she own East Devon’s beaches? And is she likely to give her signed approval for street trading on Those beaches? She owns up to the high tide mark and, for example, in Sidmouth that is pretty well at the sea wall.

It is not up to the applicant to identify who the owner is since the owner’s name is not required on the application form. So it will just be down to an EDDC Licensing Officer to check who owns a street or any place to which the public has access without paying and ensure that the consent in writing is given?

Why aren’t the beaches in Seaton and Exmouth included as Consent beaches – is Sidmouth being marked out for bad treatment here or good treatment? The Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce is against this proposal. It was approved by the Overview Committee and so will begin its progress to full approval.

I’ll bet EDDC have no idea who owns each part of various areas involved. If an area becomes a Consent Street under this proposal. I may know who owns what, indeed, I may even own it, but does East Devon? I wouldn’t mind betting that some street traders in Folk Week will apply to set up stalls along various streets not previously allowed and which might have very high passing footfall during Folk Week.

Interestingly on pages 41 and 42 of the Overview papers, where the process about dealing with objections to an application for street trading is detailed, there is an implication that even if the owner of a site objects, then the Licensing and Enforcement Committee may still approve the application. This seems to imply that if someone applies to put a market stall on my part of a private street, then whether or not someone is allowed to trade there is not in my determination but in the determination of and EDDC Committee of Conservative Councillors.

So what is the point of demanding the owner’s consent in writing as part of the application? Di I count at all in this process?

Street trading “consent streets”: whose consent? | East Devon Watch

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