Views are invited on proposed changes to East Devon street trading rules – which could see Sidmouth seafront with months of stalls

Changes are in the pipeline to allow months of summer street trading in Sidmouth under new proposals being floated in East Devon.

The district council is keen to hear public views on its draft street trading policy, setting out a number of fresh ideas for East Devon – but there only days left to respond.

The proposal consultation deadline ends on Sunday, February 26, and includes plans to extend street trading in Sidmouth – moving away from the current one-week Folk Festival period – plus the introduction of new fees, and a clamp-down on goods sold.

Some areas – such as Axminster and Honiton – will be exempt from any new changes because of the towns’ existing charter rules.

The proposed changes to East Devon District Council’s trading policy includes:

  • Allowing Sidmouth Esplanade to become a ‘consent street’ – permitted traders can sell products between May and September. It is currently restricted to one week during Sidmouth Folk Festival.
  • The introduction of administrative fees – a new consent or renewal application, as well as a block consent application (such as a mini food festival) will be £45 and it will cost £25 to make a variation.
  • All approved applications will need to meet the new up-to-date policy – meeting current economic, safety and social requirements. For example, only selling items that are not offered or directly competing with permanent services and businesses in the nearby area.

Councillor Joe Whibley, EDDC licensing and enforcement committee chair, said: “One of our key aims, as part of the new policy, is to ensure the needs of traders, residents, businesses and visitors alike are all met. Which is why we want to hear from you.

“Ultimately, the aim is for us to have a street trading policy which complements the amazing businesses we have here in East Devon, while also being sensitive to the needs of our residents.

“The idea of street trading is to offer our residents and tourists a greater choice of products, attracting people to different towns and villages in East Devon, with the aim of improving the economic benefits for everybody.”

EDDC said street trader stalls included where goods were sold at outdoor events, markets, street stalls, festivals, food vans at the roadside and in car parks, or in the open and pedestrian areas.

A district council spokesperson said: “The majority of East Devon’s streets are already ‘consent’ streets – allowing trading to take place, once an application has been submitted to and granted by EDDC.”

They added: “Honiton High Street and part of Axminster town centre have ancient charters which allow weekly markets to take place.

“The proposed changes do not apply to these areas as the charter exempts them from being controlled by this more modern legislation.”

  • Have your say – email your views to or write to: Licensing, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ.


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