Street Trading Policy

We are reviewing our street trading policy, which regulates what trading happens on or near the street. The existing policy was agreed in 1991.

Why do we have street trading?

Street trading has been part of Kingston’s history for hundreds of years. When street trading is managed well, it adds variety and vibrancy to the local area, as well as creating jobs and allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their businesses. The increase in the number of people visiting the area also has a positive impact on nearby shops.

The council oversees street trading to ensure that the public are kept safe and that traders don’t cause a disturbance, obstruct walkways and lines of sight at road junctions or the ability of other businesses to trade.

What’s in place at the moment?

Currently there are ‘designated streets’ which means there are specific pitches on certain streets that people are allowed to trade on. We’re not allowed to permit any trading on the street outside of these pitches, except at organised events. Our current designated streets include roads in Kingston Town Centre, some industrial estates and business parks, Hook Road, Elm Road and North Parade plus railway station forecourts at Surbiton and Chessington South.

If the community would like to run an event, the current policy says that they would need to either get a single licence to cover the whole event or individual one-day licences for each stall.

Stalls in the Ancient Market Place, the weekly Monday Market and tables and chairs outside cafe’s across the borough are licenced under a different process and won’t be affected by this policy.

What’s the proposed plan?

The council wants to encourage a wider range of street trading and also to make it easier for community events to happen. This ambition is outlined in the council’s Corporate Plan (2019-23). Part of this is to make it quicker and simpler to apply for a licence to trade. The council’s proposal is to completely reshape the way we think about street trading, making it more flexible and adaptable.

The proposed policy would allow prospective traders to identify their own potential trading locations on land that is public highway or is close to public highway anywhere in the borough and then make an application to trade there.

Existing traders would be given the first opportunity to apply for a pitch before applications are considered for new traders.

Any applications would have a public consultation and would be listed on the council’s website, as well as public notices being put around the proposed location. Residents and businesses will have 28 days to have their say. While the consultation is happening, our licensing team will also consult the police, Transport for London (if necessary), as well as the council’s environmental health, highways and planning teams to see if they have any concerns. If anyone objects to the application, the decision to approve that application will be made at a Licensing Sub-Committee.

Within the policy there will be restrictions to make sure that traders don’t set up in inappropriate locations like residential areas or block the sight into shops or their entrances. The policy can also restrict the sales of certain goods (e.g second hand electrical products, knives) and where they’re sold (e.g. ensuring a trader selling teas and coffees can’t set up a pitch outside a cafe).

The council is proposing to make temporary, one-day licences more flexible, so that they can be used to trade at any time and not just at events. The plan is to keep the option for the community to apply for a single licence to cover the whole event.

As part of the policy revamp, the council is considering introducing licences for A-boards (standing signage) and shop front displays. The location of these can cause obstructions if the pavement is not kept clear. This can be a problem for those with visual impairments or mobility issues. By licencing and managing where A-boards and shop front displays can be placed, we can make sure footpath remain safe for everyone.

The benefits of this new approach are:

  • Prospective traders are able to choose their own trading location within the remit of the policy

  • No council defined trading locations,

  • No maximum number of trading locations

  • More flexibility for traders

  • More opportunity for residents and businesses to have their say on location of traders

The possible negatives of this new approach are:

  • No areas are automatically excluded as possible trading locations, except for restrictions that might be set out in the policy

  • Any applications that are objected to will be decided at a Licensing sub-committee meeting.

Fees and charges

As we look to completely reshape our policy, it may be that fees and charges change too. We won’t charge traders more than it costs us to process and enforce a licence. We won’t know whether they increase or decrease until the policy is in place and agreed. After this, the council will carry out a full review of fees.

We are reviewing our street trading policy, which regulates what trading happens on or near the street. The existing policy was agreed in 1991.

Why do we have street trading?

Street trading has been part of Kingston’s history for hundreds of years. When street trading is managed well, it adds variety and vibrancy to the local area, as well as creating jobs and allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their businesses. The increase in the number of people visiting the area also has a positive impact on nearby shops.

The council oversees street trading to ensure that the public are kept safe and that traders don’t cause a disturbance, obstruct walkways and lines of sight at road junctions or the ability of other businesses to trade.

What’s in place at the moment?

Currently there are ‘designated streets’ which means there are specific pitches on certain streets that people are allowed to trade on. We’re not allowed to permit any trading on the street outside of these pitches, except at organised events. Our current designated streets include roads in Kingston Town Centre, some industrial estates and business parks, Hook Road, Elm Road and North Parade plus railway station forecourts at Surbiton and Chessington South.

If the community would like to run an event, the current policy says that they would need to either get a single licence to cover the whole event or individual one-day licences for each stall.

Stalls in the Ancient Market Place, the weekly Monday Market and tables and chairs outside cafe’s across the borough are licenced under a different process and won’t be affected by this policy.

What’s the proposed plan?

The council wants to encourage a wider range of street trading and also to make it easier for community events to happen. This ambition is outlined in the council’s Corporate Plan (2019-23). Part of this is to make it quicker and simpler to apply for a licence to trade. The council’s proposal is to completely reshape the way we think about street trading, making it more flexible and adaptable.

The proposed policy would allow prospective traders to identify their own potential trading locations on land that is public highway or is close to public highway anywhere in the borough and then make an application to trade there.

Existing traders would be given the first opportunity to apply for a pitch before applications are considered for new traders.

Any applications would have a public consultation and would be listed on the council’s website, as well as public notices being put around the proposed location. Residents and businesses will have 28 days to have their say. While the consultation is happening, our licensing team will also consult the police, Transport for London (if necessary), as well as the council’s environmental health, highways and planning teams to see if they have any concerns. If anyone objects to the application, the decision to approve that application will be made at a Licensing Sub-Committee.

Within the policy there will be restrictions to make sure that traders don’t set up in inappropriate locations like residential areas or block the sight into shops or their entrances. The policy can also restrict the sales of certain goods (e.g second hand electrical products, knives) and where they’re sold (e.g. ensuring a trader selling teas and coffees can’t set up a pitch outside a cafe).

The council is proposing to make temporary, one-day licences more flexible, so that they can be used to trade at any time and not just at events. The plan is to keep the option for the community to apply for a single licence to cover the whole event.

As part of the policy revamp, the council is considering introducing licences for A-boards (standing signage) and shop front displays. The location of these can cause obstructions if the pavement is not kept clear. This can be a problem for those with visual impairments or mobility issues. By licencing and managing where A-boards and shop front displays can be placed, we can make sure footpath remain safe for everyone.

The benefits of this new approach are:

  • Prospective traders are able to choose their own trading location within the remit of the policy

  • No council defined trading locations,

  • No maximum number of trading locations

  • More flexibility for traders

  • More opportunity for residents and businesses to have their say on location of traders

The possible negatives of this new approach are:

  • No areas are automatically excluded as possible trading locations, except for restrictions that might be set out in the policy

  • Any applications that are objected to will be decided at a Licensing sub-committee meeting.

Fees and charges

As we look to completely reshape our policy, it may be that fees and charges change too. We won’t charge traders more than it costs us to process and enforce a licence. We won’t know whether they increase or decrease until the policy is in place and agreed. After this, the council will carry out a full review of fees.