Fenland District Council approves new street trading policy which gets tough on traders who flaunt guidelines

A car for sale on the side of a Fenland road.

A car for sale on the side of a Fenland road. - Credit: Archant

A street trading policy which promises to get tough on traders who flout guidelines when selling cars by the side of the road has been approved by Fenland District Council.

Under the policy, which was approved at full council last night, people will need to get council permission to sell their cars by the side of the road.

Traders who do not obtain a Street Trading Credit from Fenland District Council face the threat of enforcement action.

It is also illegal for two or more vehicles to be parked for sale within 500 metres of one another. Rule-breachers will be liable to a fine of up to £2,500 under the Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005.

Street Trading Consents are required to trade in roads and walkways, on lay-bys, verges and footpaths, in car-parks and residential streets, on industrial estates and any other publically controlled highway or land owned, leased or maintained by the council.

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The guidelines apply for people trading from kiosks, food and drink stands, ice-cream vans and for artists and musicians who sell their recorded work on the street.

Under the Local Government Act (1982), a person guilty of street trading without permission can be fined up to £1,000.

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Councillor David Oliver, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “In some areas, street trading has been taking place in the district that has seen to be a nuisance by the local community and members.

“When working to address these concerns using current available powers, the enforcement process has not been fit for purpose and traders have continued to trade.”

Under the policy, ice cream vans are not allowed to play chimes before noon or after 7pm, for longer than four seconds at a time, more often than once every three minutes or more often than once every two hours in the same length of street.

Chimes can not also be played when the van is stationary or within 50 metres of schools (during school hours), hospitals and places of worship (on days of worship).

No live or recorded music shall be played by street traders at any time, the policy states.

If trading is to stop for a period of three weeks or more without the council being informed, the consent could be revoked and the pitch recorded as vacant.

Any stall must be removed from the highway or trading area out of permitted trading hours, the policy states.

The consent holder must have written permission from the owner of the land to trade on private land which is not part of the public highway.

The trading stall must not impede the access of emergency vehicles. It must be at least three metres away from any ground floor window, door or other opening of any premises. A clear pedestrian route of at least two metres shall be maintained along the highway, the policy adds.

Pitches must be vacated upon request, for as long as necessary, to enable highway inspections, repairs, street works and highway improvements to be undertaken, with no compensation paid to the trader.

The trader must not cause “danger, nuisance, annoyance, obstruction, damage or inconvenience” to the council, neighbours, road users or members of the public, the policy concludes.

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