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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11272
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have just opened a catering unit in the highlands of scotland,

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I have just opened a catering unit in the highlands of scotland, can you tell me if I need a street traders licence to operate on private land and is there a distance you have to be away from another food outlet
Thank you for your question.

You don't need of street traders licence to trade on private land, only public land:

Here is the law as follows:

"39. Street traders' licences.
(1) Subject to subsection (3) below, a licence, to be known as a street trader's licence, shall be
required for street trading by a person, whether on his own account or as an employee.
(2) In this section street trading means doing any of the following things in a public place
(a) hawking, selling or offering or exposing for sale any article;
(b) offering to carry out or carrying out for money or money's worth any service,
to any person in the public place and includes doing any of these things there in or from a vehicle
or in or from a kiosk or moveable stall not entered in the valuation roll except where it is done in
conjunction with or as part of a retail business being carried on in premises abutting the public
(3) A street trader's licence shall not be required for
(a) the sale of newspapers only;
(b) the sale of milk by or on behalf of a person registered under [ regulations made under
section 19 of the Food Safety Act 1990 ] 1 ;
(c) the sale of coal, coke or any solid fuel derived from coal or of which coal or coke is a
(d) any activity in respect of which a certificate under the Pedlars Act 1871 has been granted;
(e) any activity in respect of which a licence is required under this Act apart from this
section; or
(f) organising or participating in a public charitable collection within the meaning of
subsection (16) of section 119 of this Act in accordance with permission granted under that
(4) Where an application for a street trader's licence is made in respect of an activity which
(a) consists of or includes food business within the meaning of [ section 1(3) of the Food
Safety Act 1990 ] 2 ; and
(b) involves the use of a vehicle, kiosk or moveable stall,
the licensing authority shall, without prejudice to paragraph 5(3) of Schedule 1 to this Act, refuse
the application unless there is produced to them a certificate by the [ food authority (for the purposes
of section 5 of the Food Safety Act 1990) ] 3 stating that the vehicle, kiosk or moveable stall complies
with [ such requirements as the Scottish Ministers may by order made by statutory instrument
specify ]"

In addition there is no distance you would have to be from another outlet, health and safety taken into account of course.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply regarding this matter,


We have had the e.v.h down on thursday and they asked me to close are they allowed to enforce this ? they told me I can't operate as i'm too close to the other food building even if I had a licence.taking into account that this is a private car park

any rules and advice would be great thank you

Do the public have access to the car park?

What is their point as regards XXXXX XXXXX to the other unit?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the public can drive into the car park and walk into it as there is no fence its all open, they had a complaint from the owner of the other catering premises, so they said I was to move as I was too close and had to be 150 meters away from them

The definition of "public place" includes a place to which the public have access so that includes a private car park as described by you. So you would need a street traders licence.

However I have no idea where they are getting the 150 metres rule from. There s no still law to that effect.

Here is the interpretation section of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982:

"133. Interpretation.
In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires
[ enforcing authority has the meaning given by section 61(9) of the Fire (Scotland) Act
2005 (asp 5); ] 1
local authority means a [ council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government
etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 ] 2 ;
proper officer shall be construed in accordance with section 235(3) of the Local
Government (Scotland) Act 1973;
public place means any place (whether a thoroughfare or not) to which the public have
unrestricted access and includes
(a) the doorways or entrances of premises abutting on any such place; and
(b) any common passage, close, court, stair, garden or yard pertinent to any tenement
or group of separately owned houses; and
[ `public road' , `road' and `roads authority' have the same meanings as in the Roads
(Scotland) Act 1984; ] 3
vessel means any kind of water-craft including a hovercraft within the meaning of the
Hovercraft Act 1968 but not including a vessel in Her Majesty's service."
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have applied to pay rates for the mobile catering unit, would I still have to apply for a street traders licence also or would that make it exempt for that ? I have had a look at the highlands councils web site and they have this rule about the 150 meters there, but underneath they say the its there guide line only and not a law, so by this remark surely they can't try and force it onto me to move

You will need a street traders licence irrespective of whether you pay rates; the two things are entirely different.

Send me a link to the council website about the 150 metre policy and I will look at this for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we have now sorted out all the stuff with the e.v.h regarding the rates and distance. now they think we need planning for the unit, do we require this as the unit has wheels on it?

Sorry for the delay, I wanted to check the law on this. Whether you need planning depends on more than whether the unit has wheels.

The size and permanence of the unit at the ground are relevant as is the extent to which the unit attaches to the ground. If the unit is a simple trailer that you tow away each night then this could in no way be construed as a structure.

If it is a large unit that you leave in place each night then that could be construed a structure which would constitute development in planning terms.