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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee held on 11/04/2006
Review of Street Trading



APPENDIX B
Waverley Borough Council

LICENSING (GENERAL PURPOSES) SUB-COMMITTEE
11TH APRIL 2006
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Title:
REVIEW OF STREET TRADING
[Wards Affected: Farnham Upper Hale]
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Summary and purpose:

To determine changes to the designation of the A287 Odiham Road, Farnham in relation to street trading controls.
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Environmental implications:

There are environmental implications associated with this report. Poorly managed street trading activities can impact on the local environment creating litter, noise and smell. These matters are referred to later in this report.

Social/community implications:

The traders currently operating alongside the A287 Odiham Road, Farnham are involved in selling food. As such they provide a facility to residents and visitors of Waverley. They may act to discourage heavy goods and through traffic from attempting to access the central Farnham area in search of refreshments. The service and facility they provide needs to be considered alongside their potential impact on the appearance of the local area and community safety.

E-Government implications:

Comprehensive information about street trading control is available on the Waverley website.

Resource and legal implications:

There are resource implications relating to this report. There is a statutory requirement to post notices in the press detailing changes to the street designation scheme. This is expected to be in the region of 1,000. These costs would need to be met from the Council’s existing revenue budget.

Future resources may also be needed to enforce street trading controls along the A287 Odiham Road if traders choose to ignore controlled designation. Based on a previous investigation and prosecution, this is likely to be in the region of 5,000.

However, street trading can generate income for the Council where a street is designated as a consent street. Traders wishing to operate within a consent street are liable for an annual charge. This is currently set at 225 per year.
The nature of the decisions that might be made is such that human rights may be affected. The street traders will be given the opportunity to speak to the Sub-Committee to explain the impact of any decision that may limit or prevent their trading activity.

Whilst officers are of the view that the effect on traders would be proportionate in the public interest (see paragraph 12 following), it is also appropriate to allow them to speak and review the officers’ opinion in regard to any oral representations.
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Background

1. Street Trading is defined as the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (or living thing) in a street. Such activity may cause nuisance and may be controlled by local authorities.

2. In 1992, Waverley Borough Council adopted powers under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, to control Street Trading by the designation of ‘prohibited’, ‘licensed’ and ‘consent’ streets.

3. A ‘Prohibited’ street means a street in which street trading is prohibited;

A ‘Licensed’ street means a street in which street trading is prohibited unless a licence has been granted by the Council;

A ‘Consent’ street means a street in which street trading is prohibited unless the Council has given consent.

4. A licensed street designation is appropriate for the more formalised market type of trading is a street where the strict control of a limited amount of space is required. Refusal to renew, to revoke or to vary a licence must only be done in accordance with statutory grounds in the Act and a right of appeal exists to the magistrates court.

5. Designation of a street as a consent street can cover a more infrequent type of trading (i.e. mobile food vans trading on streets or in an official lay-by). The Council is under no duty to grant consent to trade on a street which has been designated as a consent street. Neither is the Council required to specify grounds for refusal. Similarly, there is no right of appeal against the refusal of consent or the application of conditions attached to a consent. Consents to operate are chargeable at 225 per year. The consent designation of a street is useful where it is necessary to limit the numbers and types of traders, their location along a street, their hours of operation and the measures they employ to remove their waste. These can all be specified as conditions to the consent to trade in a location.

6. A review of the street trading control scheme was carried out in 2003 and one case has been successfully resolved via prosecution since this review.

Review Process

7. On 1st December 2005 members of this committee considered the issue of street trading controls in relation to the A287 Odiham Road following a request to do so by Surrey County Council Local Transportation Service. The Local Transportation Service requested that consideration be given to changing the designation of the A287 Odiham Road from the traffic lights at the junction with Folly Hill to the county boundary to the status of Prohibited Street. This street currently has no designation under street trading controls and as such there is nothing to prevent food vans from trading in the lay-by. A map detailing the location presently used for mobile food vans and the stretch of the A287 Odiham Road for which review is sought is provided as Annexe 1 to this report.

8. At the meeting on 1st December 2005 this committee resolved to make arrangements to advertise its intention to prohibit street trading in this location and sought representations from interested parties for consideration at this meeting. A copy of the advertisement is provided as Annexe 2.

9. Further to the decision of the committee on 1st December 2005, this report seeks members to consider whether the street referred to should be a prohibited street (where street trading is not allowed), or a street with no designation (where trading is allowed without restriction). The options listed in paragraphs 2 to 5 above were considered by this committee on 1st December 2005, and a decision was reached to advertise the Council’s intention to designate the street as a prohibited street. Accordingly, this committee cannot now consider designating this street as ‘consent’ or ‘licensed’ without carrying out another process of advertising such an intention.

Representations

10. The advertisement stage has now been carried out. This sought written representations relating to the proposal to designate the A287 Odiham Road as a ‘prohibited street’, and asked that such representations be made to your officers by 10th March 2006. These representations have now been collated and are provided as Annexe 3 and (Exempt) Annexe 4 for your consideration.

11. Environmental Heath Assessment

Your officers in the Environmental Health Section have visited the Odiham Road on a number of occasions to assess the environmental impact of the current street trading activity. Their findings at the time of observation are as follows:-

i) Smell – three visits to determine odour levels have been carried out by officers on different dates, two in November 2005 and two in March 2006. Observations were conducted at the boundary of the two closest residential properties, Lawday House Farm and The Matchings. At Lawday House Farm a distance of 63 metres from the trader, and at The Maltings, a distance of 28 metres from the trader, there was no smell detected.

ii) Noise – three visits to determine noise levels have been carried out by your officers. These were conducted during the day. Officers were of the opinion that the traders did not generate noise which could be heard over the traffic noise in the area.

iii) Litter – an officer has visited the area around the traders on a number of occasions prior to this meeting. Litter is evident in the hedges abutting the Odiham Road and on the Ministry of Defence land behind the traders. However, the litter could not be linked to the packaging used by the traders. Officers observed bins provided by the trader being used by customers to deposit packaging waste.

iv) Rats – the Council’s Pest Control Officer has visited the location surrounding the traders and a nearby residential property and has found no obvious sign that rodent activity is exaggerated in this area by the presence of traders.

Human Rights Implications

12. Individual rights to respect for one’s home and private family life are protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, through the 1998 Human Rights Act. Residents in the areas adjacent to where the traders operate in Odiham Road, Farnham allege they have suffered some interference with those rights. The Council has a responsibility to act positively for the preservation of human rights as well as being obliged not to interfere on its own account. The effect of the requested change will be for the benefit of the general public and also to the local residents most immediately affected. Any effect on the relevant traders will not undermine their protected rights and would, in any event, be in accordance with the law and necessary in the interests of public safety, prevention of crime and disorder and for the protection of the rights and freedoms of the local residents.

Conclusion

13. Following advertisement of the Council’s intention to designate the A287 Odiham Road from the junction with Folly Hill to the county boundary as a prohibited street, this committee has the ability to designate this street as:-

(i) A street where all trading is prohibited. 14. Alternatively, the committee may consider it appropriate for the street to remain undesignated.

15. Should the committee feel that, on reflection, that a consent designation is appropriate for this street, then it may request that officers conduct a further period of advertising as per paragraph 9 of this report.

Recommendation

It is recommended as per the committee resolution on 1st December 2005, that the Sub-Committee RECOMMENDS to the Licensing and Regulatory Committee the following resolution: ________________________________________________________________________

Background Papers (DoE&L)

Details of those streets within the Borough currently designated under street trading provisions.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Suzanne Robinson Telephone: 01483 523436

E-mail: srobinson@waverley.gov.uk


comms\licensing\2005-06\186.doc