Street trading

Street trading in Southampton is regulated under part III and schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Individual streets are designated as either consent streets or prohibited streets. Designation as a consent street does not imply that the council will grant consent for trading in that area. Trading in the majority of Above Bar, including the pedestrian precinct is further restricted to the sale of flowers, foliage and newspapers only, by a Control of Sales Order made under section 7 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. Please note that the designation of streets as consent or prohibited is confined to the city centre and the area adjacent to the Common.

Anyone trading in a prohibited street or in a consent street without authority commits an offence, punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £1,000.00.

Street trading means the selling, exposing or offering articles for sale on roads, pavements and other areas to which the public have unrestricted access without payment. The law applies equally to public and private land. The distribution of leaflets, flyers etc is not street trading - this is regulated by the "Distribution of Handbills Byelaw".

The legislation provides a number of exemptions from the street trading regime - please see paragraph 1(2) of schedule 4 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, which has been subject to considerable judicial interpretation. You are therefore strongly advised to seek your own independent legal advice before attempting to trade.


Application form and other documents for the grant of consent and a list of controlled streets. Details of granted street trading consents appear in Public Access.

 Public Access

Food trading registrations

In addition, anyone trading in food within the city will need to be registered with the Environmental Health Officer for the area in which they are based. The registration does not infer any right to trade in any location - it is merely evidence of a food hygiene inspection.

Parks and open spaces

Any person trading in any public parks or open spaces can only do so subject to triennial competitive tender. Please see the Refreshment Concessions webpage 


The unauthorised use of any highway for street trading may result in action being taken by the police or highway authority for obstruction of the highway. In addition, the highway authority has powers to remove any vehicle left unlawfully on the highway, which it deems to be an abandoned vehicle

Planning permission

Planning permission may be required for the use of any site for street trading. Please contact Development Control on 023 8083 3006.

Late night food trading

Trading in hot food or hot drink in any place, including by a mobile trader, between 23:00 and 05:00 on any day will require a premises licence for late night refreshment under the Licensing Act 2003. A premises licence will be required regardless of the need for street trading consent. Please see the Licensing Act 2003 pages for further information.

Data Protection

Please note that the licensing authority may be required by law to disclose to the appropriate authorities, from time to time, further information relating to applications and licences for the purposes of law enforcement and the prevention of fraud.