News release from 24/02/2022

New street trading policy approved for all South Cambridgeshire streets

Woman buying fruit at a market stall


A new street trading policy has been approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council to ensure local businesses are supported whilst providing residents with a varied choice of goods and services.

The Council, in relation to its responsibility for street trading, has designated that all streets in the District will now come under its remit, with the exception of the A11 and A14 and any area of land which is in direct ownership and control of the County, District or Parish Councils.

All designated streets will be subject to the new regulations which aim to create an environment which complements premises-based trading, is sensitive to the needs of residents, provides diversity and consumer choice, and enhances the character, ambience, and safety of local environments.

The new policy was approved at a meeting of the Council’s Licensing Committee at South Cambs Hall yesterday (Wednesday 23 February) and will take effect from March 1, 2022. It will run for the next three years and will be kept under review.

The new rules will apply to the issuing of consents for selling, exposing, or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) or service in any of its designated streets, roads, highway verges, footways, beaches, or other areas to which the public has access without payment.

They cover static, mobile or layby traders, such as food vans, ice cream vans, flower sellers or vans selling bread, cakes, vegetables etc., and encompass areas such as:

  • Public Safety – is there a substantial risk to the public from obstructions, fire hazards, unhygienic conditions or any other danger that may occur
  • Proximity to the highway – to ensure there are no dangers to those who have a right to use the highway and no obstruction for emergency access
  • Compliance - trading must only be conducted only from a trading unit that complies with relevant legislation
  • Food Safety - vendors must be registered with the Environmental Health Service in the area in which they are based for food hygiene inspection and food vendors should have an FSA food hygiene rating score of 3 or more
  • Public Order- whether the street trading activity represents or is likely to represent a substantial risk to public order
  • Avoidance of Public Nuisance: Whether there is a substantial risk of nuisance to the public, particularly in residential areas, such traffic, noise, rubbish, potential for the harbourage of vermin, odour, or fumes.

Previously, street trading did not apply to the whole of the District, which resulted in some street traders operating in areas with the consent of the local Parish or Town Councils.

To support those current traders now coming under the new regime, which will go ‘live’ from April 1st, the Council is to introduce grandfather rights for those trading up to the period ending 1 March 2022, so they will have the right to retain their pitch or pitches subject to basic safety principles being adhered to within a grace period of up to six months.

In addition, a new streamlined regime (which has been welcomed by the trade and the National Caterers Association) is to be introduced for owners of outside areas such as pub car parks. This will allow them to be used on an ad-hoc basis such as for pop-up food traders and also non-food articles like Christmas trees.

Cllr Brian Milnes Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, Cllr Brian Milnes said: “The Council is responsible for ensuring that trading on our streets is safe for both those who are selling their goods and for those who are using those services. Our new regulations will ensure the same standards will apply across the District, creating an environment which works well with shops and other business premises in the area and taking into account the needs of local residents to give them choice in their shopping.”

Peter McDonald

Lead Cabinet Member for Business Recovery and Skills, Cllr Peter McDonald said: “Our street traders offer a wide variety of services and goods from fresh to cooked foods and refreshments, to flowers, plants and other goods and services, and they add to the vibrancy and choice offered in our high streets. The new regulations will ensure a level playing field applies to all, whilst protecting the public in relation to food hygiene and safety and other important areas.”