In Luton certain parts of the Town Centre have been designated as consent streets. This means that it is illegal to trade in these areas, regardless of the type of goods you are selling, without obtaining prior consent from Luton Borough Council. A summary of the scheme is given below.

Generally speaking, all street trading on the public highway is an offence under Section 148 of the Highways Act 1980. However, since 2nd October 1989 consent to trade within certain designated areas and streets in the town centre can be obtained from the council.

The streets and areas within the Borough of Luton that have been designated consent streets are:
  • Bridge Street
  • Bute Street between George Street and the Arndale Centre
  • Chapel Street between George Street and Stuart Street
  • Cheapside between George Street and the Arndale Centre
  • George Street
  • George Street West
  • Gordon Street
  • King Street to the Ring Road
  • Library Road
  • Manchester Street
  • Park Street between George Street and Park Square
  • St George's Square including the area between St George's Theatre and the Strathmore Thistle Hotel
  • Silver Street
  • Upper George Street
  • Wellington Street to the Ring Road
  • Williamson Street between George Street and the Arndale Centre
  • Ramps to the entrance of the Arndale Centre
An application for street trading consent (including renewal) must be made either online or posted to:
Environmental & Consumer Services
Town Hall,
Luton LU1 2BQ

A separate application form must be completed for each stall, van, barrow, cart, etc.

Applications must be accompanied by two passport type colour photographs of the applicant (proprietor) and three colour photographs of any stall, van, barrow, cart or other vehicle from which the applicant wishes to trade.

Renewal applications must be accompanied by two colour passport type photographs of the applicant (proprietor) and one colour photograph (taken within the past twelve month period) of the stall, van, barrow, cart or other vehicle on the pitch from which they are trading.

The application must clearly state the pitch or pitches from which you wish to trade. Please refer to the current list of vacant pitches in the enclosed information. Applications for pitches already occupied will not be considered.

A fee is payable for the grant or renewal of street trading 'consent'. The fee is reviewed annually. Please ring the Licensing Service on 01582 546040 for details of current fees.

Please note
No fee should be sent with an application for consent or renewal of consent. Applications will be considered using the criteria set out.

If your application is successful you will be advised of the fee. A consent certificate will only be issued when the fee has been received. No trade will be permitted until written consent has been issued. Incomplete applications will be returned with details on what further information or amendments are required. Any applications which fail to meet the criteria set out below or receive adverse comments from consultee organisations will be referred to the Licensing Panel for a decision.

The criteria
The criteria against which all applications will be assessed are as follows:
  • Are goods to be sold from a stall, cart or barrow or other non-motorised vehicle?
  • Is the stall in good condition?
  • Does the stall add 'colour' and character to the town centre?
  • Is the design of the stall in sympathy with the pitch location e.g. it should not completely obscure a shop front or give rise to potential distress to surrounding businesses or the public using the street?
  • Will the goods sold be complementary to existing trade, as opposed to being in direct competition with an existing consent holder?
  • Do the products to be sold lend themselves to creating an attractive display in the street?
  • Does the applicant have a clean record in terms of previous street trading conduct in Luton?
  • Does the applicant have a clean record in complying with health & safety and environmental protection legislation, and if relevant, food safety legislation?
  • Food trade only: Is the applicant's food business registered under food safety legislation?
  • Food trade only: Is the applicant prohibited from running a food business?
All consents expire on 31st December each year.

The council will not permit trading unless the consent holder has a current insurance policy against Public Liability and Third Party risks. The minimum insurance cover shall be £2,000,000, and must cover your vehicle, van, stall, barrow and any additional equipment under your control. No consent will be issued until the Public Liability Insurance Policy is produced to the satisfaction of the Street Trading Administrator.

An authorised officer of the council will inspect any stall, van, barrow, cart or other vehicle from which it is intended to trade.

All applications will be considered individually on their merits but the council has agreed to limit the number of food traders allowed to operate as part of the consent scheme to eight. This is to ensure the scheme continues to allow a variety of goods to be sold in the consent area.

As a guide the council will encourage street trading in items such as:
  • Hot and cold take-away food, for example· Foods from around the world;· Ice cream, jacket potatoes· Pancakes, Roasted Chestnuts and Candy Floss· Fruit and Vegetables (subject to a maximum of 8 consents)
  • Arts and crafts stalls, for example hand-made jewellery
  • Wooden or other crafted objects
  • Paintings or arts in other media
  • Handmade soaps, candles
  • Engraved items, stained glass
  • Hand made toys and puzzles, etc.
  • Flowers
  • Wrapping Paper
Applications to sell these items will be considered provided consent to sell the same items has not already been given to another trader. Applications will be encouraged provided they are always sold from a stall, cart, barrow or other non-motorised vehicle that is in sympathy with the surroundings, adds colour and character to the town centre and complies with all relevant Food Safety, Health & Safety and Environmental Protection legislation.

The following trades are seen as falling outside the Street Trading scheme and would not therefore be permitted;
  • Fresh meat, fish and poultry
  • Live birds and animals
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Second hand electrical goods
  • In any designated consent street, street trading will normally be restricted to between the hours of 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays inclusive.
Written requests to trade on Sundays will be considered by the Street Trading Administrator.

Where a street trading consent is granted the Council will normally impose the Street Trading Consent Conditions attached hereto.

Further information may be obtained from
Environmental & Consumer Services
Town Hall
Luton LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 54 61 79