To consider the attached report.
The three Councillors that presided over this application were Councillors I Hadley, A Lion and P Stalker.
The Chairman introduced the Members and Officers present and outlined the procedure that would be followed for the determination of the application.
In attendance were the applicant’s representative Ms Matthews and the objectors: Ms Porter from Essex County Council and Ms Grace.
(a) Application before the Sub-Committee
The Licensing Officer, P Jones, informed the Sub-Committee that an application had been made by Stuart Matthews of Debden Traders’ Association, to trade at The Broadway, Loughton for a Street Trading Consent for a market selling mixed goods including hot and cold food and drink (no alcohol).
Monday to Sunday 08:00 – 17:00.
The application was received by the Licensing Authority on the 24 March 2021.
There was no requirement in the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982 to carry out any consultation, but Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Environmental Health, Community Resilience, Loughton Town Council and the ward councillors had been notified and had no comments or objections. Public notices were placed along The Broadway.
The authority had received representations from Essex County Council, a local business and a regular stall holder.
(b) Presentation of the Application
Ms Matthews provided some background to the application and explained that management of the association was now the responsibility of the applicant. The space outside the premises had been used for 30 years and this was typical of many high streets, there had been no safety issues, complaints accidents or use of public liability insurance. The consent would give the freedom to house markets and traders, revive The Broadway and attract market traders. There had been no objections from Environmental Health, the Police and Fire Service. She suggested that Essex Highways should visit the site to see the extremely wide pavement and the concerns raised by Ms Grace could be addressed.
(c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee sought clarify on the number of traders in the association and if items on display from shops spanned across adjacent shop premises. The association comprised of seventeen traders from The Broadway and no (zero) stall holders. Items had spanned adjacent properties with permission from the shopkeepers during covid lockdown. Market traders would be independent traders and the shops and stall were not mutually exclusive.
(d) Questions for the Applicant from the Objector
There were no questions from the objectors.
(e) Presentation from the Objector
Ms Porter advised the Sub-Committee that from the kerb to the premises was public highway and businesses could not extend onto the public highway. A street trading consent did not allow trading from the public highway and Essex Highways had to raise their objection to a street trading consent.
Ms Grace, advised the Sub-Committee that the sprawling goods along the pavement was dangerous for wheelchair users and prams. She detailed that in the last eight years there had only ever been two or three stalls and that she had no objection to the consent for two days per week, as that could bring interest but an increase to seven days would impact on her business.
Ms Tuckey, Licensing Officer, advised the Sub Committee that sub -letting was not allowed. Ms Porter confirmed that the public highways was from the kerb to the building with no space outside the shops. The Legal Advisor, R Ferriera, advised that the that the boundaries would be clearly shown on the lease, that pavement licences, designed primarily for tables and chairs, were a separate entity and that street trading consents could not be used to expand you shop onto the public highway.
(f) Questions for the Objector from the Sub-Committee
The Sub Committee asked if there had been complaints, for clarity around the Essex County Council perspective and if Highways could take action. Ms Porter advised that no complaints had been received but this was Highway Law. Displaying goods and extending the business onto the public highways could lead to further action, it was acknowledged that in practice individuals used a limited amount of the highway, but that encroachment could not be allowed through a street trading consent.
The Sub Committee asked Ms Grace how it had impacted on her business, she advised that plants being sprawled across The Broadways seven days per week would directly impact her business.
(g) Questions for the Objector from the Applicant
Ms Matthews asked why Essex County Council had not objected in January, Ms Porter advised that there had been an objection.
Ms Matthews advised that Mr Sparks could sell flowers, plants and bouquets, the consent for seven days would attract market holders to come forward.
(h) Closing Statement from the Applicant
Ms Matthews expressed her disquiet and questioned why the application had been allowed to come to Sub- Committee. She highlighted the value of outside space being utilised by the shops during the social distancing and restrictions places on individuals and business during the pandemic.
(k) Consideration of the Application by the Sub-Committee
The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would go into private deliberations to consider the application. During their deliberations the Sub-Committee received the following advice: historical information about the market; markets which have a charter are different to street trading consents; and a street trading consent cannot be used as an extension of a shop.
That the application for a Street Trading Licence made by Debden Traders’ Association, to trade at The Broadway, Loughton shall NOT BE GRANTED.
The reason for the decision of the Sub–Committee was that Essex County Council objected to a business having a street trading consent whereby it would expand their selling areas onto the public highway which would be contrary to the Highways Act 1980 in that it would obstruct the public highway.