Street trading


Cheltenham Borough Council regulates street trading activity throughout the entire borough.  This means that any trading that falls within the descriptions below would need a consent anywhere in the borough.

If your street trading relates to trading as part of a market, please be aware that the council has adopted special procedures for this.

What is street trading?

The law defines street trading as “selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) in a street.”

A street is “any road, footway, beach or other area to which the public have access without payment.”  Note that a street could include private land if the area is accessible without payment.

Making an application

We offer pre-application advice for street trading consent.

If your trading requires consent from the council, you will need to submit an application to us.  Make sure you also read the council’s street trading policy before you make an application.  It is important for you to understand whether your application complies with the policy requirements.

You can make an application online or by downloading the application form.  In addition to the form, you will also be required to submit the following documents:

  1. Photograph of the object/structure
  2. Scale plan (1:100) illustrating the exact proposed location (if not applying for a policy approved location)
  3. Documents to establish your identity
  4. Valid MOT and insurance certificate (if applying for a mobile trading unit)

Street trader zones

We have an online map which shows street trader licensing zones and current locations of street traders in Cheltenham town centre.

View the street trader zone map


When you submit your application to us, you will be required to pay a non-refundable administration fee.  This fee covers the cost of consultation and general administration.

Should your application be successful, there will be additional consent fees payable. You can view the current fees at:

Licensing fees and charges

Street trading policy

The council has adopted a street trading policy that sets out how the council will decide on applications and the conditions that will apply to any consents issued.  You are strongly recommended to read through the policy prior to making an application.  In particular, please refer to the permitted locations, the assessment criteria and conditions for consent.

Street trading policy 

Special conditions for ice cream traders


Once you have submitted a complete application, we will consult on the application for 14 days.  After the consultation period, we will write a report to go before the council’s Licensing Committee.

The licensing policy makes provision for applications to be made in any one of the three permitted locations in the town.  The policy is intentionally not prescriptive of goods and services so to provide flexibility for traders to approach the council with proposals.

Your trading proposals will then be assessed by the Licensing Committee against the assessment criteria outlined in the policy.  The assessment criteria will form the basis of the committee’s decision.

Applications for trading locations outside the permitted locations will be dealt with on their merits but there will be a presumption against the grant of a consent. 

For applications outside the town centre, each application will be assessed on its merits.

You will be invited to attend and will be given an opportunity to address the committee. Please be aware that any objectors to your application will be invited and also given an opportunity to address the committee.

You can read more about the committee process in the Licensing Committee Probity Guide.

The committee will then decide whether to grant the consent, to grant it but subject to additional terms and conditions, or to refuse the consent.

Further information


There is no right of appeal against the refusal of a trading consent.

Will tacit consent apply?

Tacit consent applies to this application.  This means that you can assume the authorisation has been granted (subject to standard conditions that might apply) if you have not received a decision notice from us within 44 calendar days.  The timeframe above takes into consideration the need for a Licensing Committee hearing.  Where a decision is delegated to licensing officers, the timeframe for determining an application is likely to be less.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, citizens advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European consumer centre.

Planning permission

Planning permission may be required for street trading, we would recommend that you contact the planning department regarding this on 01242 264328 or [email protected].