New street trading rules will help ‘bring back vibrancy’ post-pandemic

Tuesday, 15 March 2022 07:49

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

New rules on street trading aim to make towns and villages ‘vibrant’ post-pandemic and give the council more control over pop-up ventures.

A new street trading policy was adopted by Arun District Council on Friday (March 11) and will see the first major changes since the 1980s’. From April 1, all streets in the district will become ‘consent streets’ which means traders can apply to the council to sell their goods in more areas.

Some streets, known as ‘prohibited streets’, are not included because council officers deemed them unsuitable for street trading.  This follows a ‘significant increase’ in demand during the pandemic but, because the rules had not been updated since the 1980s’, the council had limited control over traders and received several complaints.

It is hoped the new rules will give ADC more control whilst giving fledgling businesses a springboard and existing businesses opportunities to expand their trade.

Sarah Meeten, licensing manager at ADC, said: “My hope is this will provide some people with a platform to move on to better things and it may also provide existing business with an opportunity to diversify.”

Increased footfall as a result of street trading could also prevent anti-social behaviour, according to officers. Members of the council’s licensing committee welcomed the changes.

Committee chair Billy Blanchard-Cooper (LDem, Brookfield) said: “We know that during the pandemic there were a number of different businesses that popped up, they might not have been in the areas we particularly wanted them, but there wasn’t anything we could do.

“But with this policy we now can control that better.”

Mike Northeast (Lab, Courtwick with Toddington) said street markets help to ‘bring vibrancy to a town’ and make the area ‘look busy’.
“Goodness knows we need that at the moment because there are a lot of shops that are empty,” he said. 

The new rules were deemed ‘friendly regulation’ by councillor Oliver-Redgate (Con, Ferring).

“The whole concept of street trading is exciting,” he said, “bringing the little man, the small trader into the community to give the vibrant feeling that a town always needs is so good.”

Councillor Oliver-Redgate said the rules could help small enterprises become success stories like the Body Shop, which was set up by Littlehampton’s Anita Roddick.

“She was a legend in this town and brought Littlehampton really onto the map and I just hope that with all this, especially during the Jubilee, there might be another Body Shop,” said Mr Oliver-Redgate.

For more information on the new policy and to watch the licensing committee meeting, click here.  

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