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Street trading, markets and auctions

Street Trading - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Street Trading is the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) in a street which has been designated by the council as either a consent street or a licensed street.

Street trading and other activities organised in the City's streets have a valuable role to play in attracting visitors to the City; increasing footfall and the amount of time people spend in the City and providing opportunities for businesses to thrive and grow.

Local Authorities have a legal discretion to regulate street trading in their areas.  The Council has previously acted to control street trading in certain parts of the City, including the City Centre, the seafront area and the area in the vicinity of the Stadium of Light.  Some streets in these areas have been legally designated by the Council as "consent" streets for the purposes of street trading.  Street trading in these areas without consent is a criminal offence.  The Council is entitled to grant or refuse an application for street trading consent as it sees fit.

General Policy on Street Trading:

The policy regarding street trading in the City of Sunderland is under review.

Pending the outcome of the review, applications for Street Trading Consents cannot be accepted at this time in respect of the following areas:-

  • Seaburn seafront
  • Roker seafront
  • Streets and open spaces surrounding the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland City Council's Policy on Street Trading 

The Council will favour applications from traders who propose to sell food and products which are generally considered to promote the Council's Healthy City Priority and are likely to refuse applications which do not do so. Examples of foods and products which do not satisfy this Priority are hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, other fried goods and confectionery. This is not an exhaustive list.

The Council considers that street trading should only take place from appropriately equipped stalls, trailers or vehicles which are attractive in appearance and enhance the overall visual ambiance of the location. They should be designed to meet the highest standard of regulatory requirements regarding their use (Health and Safety and Food Hygiene Regulations). They should be finished in a colour or colours specified by the Council for this purpose.

The Council does not have any fixed street trading locations or specific number limitations within those areas designated as consent streets. However, applications will only be granted where it is considered that the trader will add to existing amenities and be of benefit to the residents of Sunderland. It is unlikely that applications for locations close to existing street traders or where they could obstruct busy pedestrian routes or access to or from nearby premises will be granted. Also, where there are waiting and loading restrictions in place, appropriate waivers or consents to use that location must be obtained where necessary.

The Council endorses the use of energy efficient clean green power supplies by traders and would discourage, for example, the use of polluting power sources such as petrol driven generators which can create environmental and noise pollution.

Each Street Trading application will be considered on its merits taking account of the general policy provisions. Only where there are exceptional circumstances will consents be granted contrary to this general policy.

Consent/ Prohibited Areas:

The Council has also designated a street in the City as a "prohibited" street where street trading may not occur.  The status of designated streets is kept under review and may change in accordance with the relevant statutory procedure.

Trading at Council Events:

In order to ensure both the high quality of trading and high levels of public safety at Council events any trader wishing to trade at such an event must first obtain the written consent of the Council department organising the event. A copy of this consent must be attached to the application for street trading consent submitted to the Council.


For information on summer concessions for ice cream pitches at Mowbray Park, Roker Park, Herrington Country Park and a coffee cart at Herrington Country Park, please visit the following link Contact Us - MySunderland

Street Trading Application Requirements:

  • Application should be submitted 56 days before the day upon you wish to commence trading,
  • You must be over 17 years of age to hold a consent
  • A plan (scale 1:1250) showing the proposed trading location,
  • Written consent from the land owner permitting you to trade at this location (if relevant),
  • Written consent from the Council permitting you to trade at their event (if relevant),
  • Documentary evidence that you are in possession of public liability insurance with a minimum level of £5 million pounds,
  • Photograph of the applicant (for annual and Stadium of Light applications only)
  • Application fee (please refer to the application form)

Apply for street trading consent

To pay, please visit Sunderland Home Page - Sunderland City Council £pay-view all-Miscellaneous licence fees-street trading consent-  choose your relevant application


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