Bid to relax rules for street trading in East Devon

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7651-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7651-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

People are being asked for their views on proposed changes to ease street trading laws.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) launched the first stage of a consultation this week in a bid to boost the local economy, promote high streets and town centres and encourage market traders to flourish.

At present, street trading is banned in all but six designated ‘consent streets’ across the district, which include Sidmouth’s Esplanade and Promenade.

Richard Cohen, EDDC deputy chief executive, said: “We have many sole traders in East Devon, as well as a strong farming and food production history, and we want to encourage these businesses to trade actively, whether it is through farmers’ markets, festivals or street stalls.

“We want to actively encourage opinion about these proposals, as it is vital that we gain as much feedback as possible from everyone involved.

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“People’s comments are greatly valued and will help inform the decision-making process for these changes to street trading.”

EDDC is looking to take a ‘more modern approach’ and follow in the footsteps of other councils in the Devon area, which have removed blanket restrictions. The council says an increase in street trading areas would allow it to actively and positively manage the quality of trade across the district, with each application being considered on its own merits.

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Mr Cohen added: “More and more people are asking us if they can trade on the streets and there is tremendous public support for events like farmers’ markets and Christmas markets.”

Questionnaires have been sent out to town and parish councils, some street traders, street trading organisations, councillors, chambers of commerce and some local businesses, but EDDC would like to hear from residents.

To complete a survey, visit: Deadline for completed forms is July 29.

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