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Do we want street trading in Sidmouth?

  • by MWT

East Devon District Council consultation closes on Sunday 26th February 2023 at midnight.

Over the years there have been many ‘consultations’ about having street trading in Sidmouth and every time the residents have said ‘No’. Yet here we are again with something from EDDC which shows they haven’t even bothered to consult Google Street View to see what they are really proposing.

From this Google map it might seem possible to have street traders on Chapel Road and ‘the un-named street leading from Bedford Square to the Esplanade’ but on the ground it looks less of a good Idea.

As vehicles use these roads how would a street trader fit in without causing a blockage? Then there is the proposal to use Bedford Square itself.

Are they intending to get rid of parking? Or block the garages on the right? Or perhaps they are thinking of having a row of traders behind the parking on the Esplanade side ( and on the double yellow lines) so that parked cars are in danger of damage from people visiting or setting up stalls?

This is the list of roads in Sidmouth they are thinking of allowing street trading on

Currently designated as Prohibited Streets
It is proposed to change the designation of the following Prohibited Streets (where street trading is at all times forbidden by law) to designate as Consent Streets;
 All Saints Road
 Bedford Square and including the un-named street leading from Bedford Square to the Esplanade
 Blackmore View
 Chapel Road
 Chapel Street
 Church Street
 Coburg Road – between Coburg Terrace and Church Street
 Dove Lane – and the lane between Dove Lane & New Street
 Fore Street
 Fortfield Place
 Fortfield Terrace
 Glen Road, – south of Manor Road
 Ham Lane and East Street – from the Esplanade to Fore Street
 High Street
 King Street
 Manor Road
 Market Place
 Mill Street, – west of its junction with Russell Street
 Millford Road, – north of the ford
 New Street
 Old Fore Street
 Peak Hill Road – east from its junction with Cotmaton Road.
 Prospect Place
 Radway, – south of the Post Office
 Salcombe Road
 Sid Road, – south of Redwood Road
 Station Road – between Knowle Drive and The Esplanade
 Streets adjoining the Three Cornered Plot (Known as The Triangle)
 The Beach – from the mouth of the River Sid westwards to a point opposite Clifton Cottage.
 The un-named street between Elizabeth Hotel and Marlborough Hotel (now Dukes)
 Vicarage Road, – south of Connaught Road
 York Street
 Vicarage Road, – south of Connaught Road

The following is a Consent Street but shall only be granted during a period annually from 1st May to 1st September;
 Esplanade & Promenade

You can see the full document here.

They say that Street Trading will not be allowed when, amongst other things,

  • A significant effect on road safety would arise either from the siting of the trading activity itself, or from customers visiting or leaving the site,
  • There is a conflict with Traffic Orders such as waiting restrictions
  • The site or pitch obstructs either pedestrian or vehicular access, or traffic flows
  • The trading unit obstructs the safe passage of users of the footway or carriageway through the existence of any trading vehicle on a road or highway increasing risks to road users
  • The siting and operation of any stall, barrow etc. operated by a consent holder or people employed by them causes problems of highway safety, obstruction to users of the highway, or conflict with the requirement of emergency vehicles

They also specify that the following two factors are to be understood.

Site safety
6.25 The location of the proposed street trading activity should not present additional risks to the public in terms of road safety, obstruction and fire hazard. The term “public” refers to both customers frequenting the street trading activity, and other members of the public using the location. In particular reference will be made to the guidelines set out in Stage 3 on site safety assessment criteria and observations made by the Highways Authority. Trading consent should not be granted where there is insufficient space, undue interference to pedestrians/road users, where the existence of trading will cause heightened risk or where it would be prejudicial to highway safety.

The Council will not normally permit a new consent for the sale of goods or services which conflicts with those provided by nearby traders (whether street trading or in business premises).
Factors include the articles for sale and the geographical location of the proposed site.

If they themselves would ban street trading in many of the above listed streets, for the reasons given immediately above above, then why are they proposing making them ‘Consent’ streets?
Sidmouth has lots of lovely shops selling all manner of things, we have the staples of life with food and grocery shops, we have jewellery, shoes, clothes, a famous perfume shop, mobile phone, cafes galore, seaside supplies and a multitude of charity and other shops selling quirky second-hand goods, and more. All we are missing is a good butcher and you don’t often get that with street traders.
Are we going to have people hawking the sort of things we have on the Esplanade during Folk Week? Will they be walking along the beach touting their wares? Will our businesses suffer because of them?
Have your say by writing to EDDC All responses to this consultation need to be received in writing by either email: or by post: Licensing, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ. We cannot accept anonymous responses, please include your name.
All comments will be considered as part of the review and in preparation of the final policy document. 

Get your responses in by midnight next Sunday 26th Feb.