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Licences and permits

Street trading licence

  • Introduction

    If you're selling or offering a service in a street or public place, you must have a licence.

    For licensees - how COVID-19 affects your street trading application

    My licence expires during the current ‘lockdown’ but I have already made my renewal application – what will happen? 

    If we have already received a renewal application from you, your licence will remain in force even though the renewal date has passed. We will inspect your pitch as soon as we are able and make a renewal decision at that date. 

    My licence will expire during the current lockdown and I haven’t yet made my renewal application – what should I do? 

    You must still submit an application to renew your licence even if you are unsure as to whether you intend to operate in the future so as to allow you to resume the licensable activity once the government restrictions are lifted. If your licence has already expired, or you are unable to pay the application fee to accompany your renewal application, please contact us urgently to discuss how we can help. You can contact us by email buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk

  • How to apply

    How do I apply to renew a street trading licence during the current restrictions? 

    If your licence expired by the 30 April 2020 you should already have received a renewal reminder application pack. We may also contact you by email (if we have your email address) or phone to confirm if you want to renew your licence.

    Anyone who has not received a pack, or who needs one now for a later renewal can contact us on buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk

    Currently to apply to renew your street trading licence you can:

    • Apply for a street trading licence
    • Scan a copy of your completed application form, and return it by email to buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk and pay the relevant fee by bank transfer (BACS), contact us for payment details; or 
    •  If you aren’t able to do either of these, please email us urgently on buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk to confirm that you intend to renew your licence, and to discuss how we can help. You can still post your application form and fee to us if you wish. We have limited access to the office at present but post will be reviewed as and when possible. 

    I cannot supply updated certificates – what should I do? 

    It is accepted that applicants will not be in a position to commission certificates that would normally be submitted with a street trading application. These should be provided as soon as possible once restrictions are lifted. 

    If you do have valid certificates (or other relevant documentation) you can submit these by email to buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk.

    Can I have a rebate on my renewal and licence fee given I have been forced to close? 

    You must pay the renewal application fee with your application. However, in order to help you with the overall licence cost, the renewal date will be when we make a decision about your application, rather than the expiry date of your old licence. Your new licence will last for 3 years from when we approve your application (once all technical and legislative requirements are met). The licence fee will only need to be paid then from the renewal date.

    We are unable to offer any refund or rebate on existing licences. The licence fee covers the cost of enforcement, the designation process and ongoing general administration of street trading and is set by Council at a level which currently does not enable full cost recovery of this function.

  • What types of licences are available?

    There are three types of street trading licence:

    • stationary licence to trade from a designated permanent pitch
    • licence to trade as a mobile trader
    • temporary licence for event

    For more information about Mobile trading in our Parks visit our parks section.

    You don't need a licence to sell newspapers or magazines from a holder carried by the seller. Milk men, bread men, coal men and delivery men are also exempt.

    Buskers don't need a licence, but if they want to sell items like CDs they must apply for a licence.

    Stationary licence to trade from a designated permanent pitch

    We only grant licences for areas which we've approved for stationary street trading.

    If we want to designate new trading areas we will publish legal notices (for 28 days), explaining our proposals, in local newspapers to make sure the public and other organisations are consulted. 

    Mobile trading licence

    All mobile traders, including ice-cream vans and mobile shops, must have a mobile trading licence which allows them to work within specific areas of Belfast. 

    If you're applying for a mobile trading licence you must tell us the route that you propose to trade from in your application form. You must also give details of the days and times you intend to trade.

    Temporary licence for events

    Even if you only want to sell at a one-off event, you'll need a temporary licence.

    Apply well in advance of your event, as we assess all applications separately and liaise with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure Roads to decide if your proposal will cause any inconvenience to the public.

    Temporary licences for events are only valid for up to seven days. We can only grant traders five temporary licences in one year.

    If you're applying for a temporary licence, you'll need a map showing the exact location of your planned site. This should be included with your application form. 

  • Documents needed

    To apply for a street trading licence you will need:

    • Basic Disclosure certificate obtained from AccessNI (non NI residents can get details of how to obtain a similar certificate by contacting us)
    • Electrical test certificates for all portable electrical appliances used and any generators.
    • Gas Safety certificates for all gas appliances, connections, and flues used.
    • Certificate of maintenance of any fire extinguishers used, especially where gas or electrical equipment is being used.
    • Relevant MOT test certificate for any vehicle used in the trading activity.
    • Evidence that you have registered, or applied for registration with the relevant local authority for food hygiene and health and safety (if required).
  • How much do street trading licences cost?

    Licensing fees should only be paid once we have decided to grant or renew your mobile or stationary street trading licence. 

    How to pay

    You can pay monthly in person at our offices, located on Ground Floor, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP, or via cheque or postal order.

    The first monthly payment must be made before your licence is issued. All cheques and postal orders should be payable to Belfast City Council.

    Types  Application fee and renewal (non-refundable) Nature of licence Licence fee per year   Licence fee per month
    Mobile  £180 Monday to Fridays £550 £45.83 
    Saturday £300 £25
    Sunday £380 £31.66
    Monday to Saturday £800 £66.66
    Monday to Sunday £1100 £91.66
    Stationary  £150 Monday to Friday £800 £66.66
    Saturday £520 £43.33
    Sunday £580 £48.33
    Monday to Saturday £1000 £83.33
    Monday to Sunday  £1250 £104.16

    Cost of temporary street trading licences

    Type  Application fee (non-refundable)  Nature of licence  Licence fee per day 
    Temporary  £180 Monday to Friday £40
    Saturday £50
    Sunday or public holiday £70 

    Cost of variations of a street trading licence

    Types   Fee
    Variation of licencing particulars   £100
  • Locations for street trading

    Stationary licence holders can only trade on designated sites. Licence applications will be considered for the bold streets only. All sites are for daytime trading unless otherwise specified.

    Check your planned location is available

    This table shows the number and location of all designated pitches in Belfast. It also outlines the items which can be sold on each pitch and whether the pitch is currently available. If you are interested in applying for a stationary licence, you should check this information first to make sure your planned location is a designated pitch, and is available.

    Pitch number  Location  Products   Status 
    Licence number
     1  Donegall Square East at “Santander”  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
    S00002
     2  Castle Lane - behind mosaic at junction with “Castle Arcade” No 1  Flowers, fruit and vegetables  Available
     3  Castle Lane - behind mosaic at junction with “Castle Arcade” No 2  Flowers, plants, arts and crafts  Available
     4  Malone Road at Malone Park  Flowers on a Sunday  Available
     5  Boucher Crescent - at lamp post No 16  Hot Food Issued 202000024
     6  Apollo Road  Hot Food  Pending
     7  Tomb Street – (one site)  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
    S00008
     8  Donegall Street in lay-by opposite “Kremlin Night Club”  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
    201900071
     9  Fountain Lane - 45ft. from junction with Donegall Place. (1)  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued 202000022
     10  Fountain Lane - 60ft. from junction with Donegall Place. (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
     11  Sliabh Dubh View  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
     12  Dargan Crescent, 45 feet from its junction with Dargan Road  Hot Food  Available
     13  Donegall Square North - Front of City Hall  Ice cream, hot and cold beverages, confectionery, crepes, wraps and other artisan foods from a traditional tricycle  Issued
    S000065
     14  Dargan Crescent - at “Musgrave cash & carry”  Hot Food  Issued
    202000000
     15  Falcon Road  Hot Food  Available
     16  Duncrue Link - 45ft. from junction with Duncrue Road  Hot Food  Issued
    S00024
     17  Duncrue Crescent - 45ft. from junction with Duncrue Road  Hot Food  Issued
    S00025
     18  Belmont Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     19  Malone Road at Malone Park  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     20  144 Upper Lisburn Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     21  Upper Lisburn Road at Sicily Park  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     22  Post Box at Finaghy Road South  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     23  Antrim Road, 50m from Kansas Avenue Junction– (one site)  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     24  177 Lisburn Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     25  Lucerne Parade at Lockview Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     26  Blackstaff Road at Delta Print and Packaging – (one site)  Hot Food  Pending
     27  Malone Road at Derryvolgie Avenue  Sunday Newspapers  Available
     28  Lower Garfield Street - at junction with North Street (1)  Commodity to be determined but including the sale of crepes, waffles, roasted nuts, sandwiches, paninis and hot pastries  Site currently unavailable due to building works
     29  Lower Garfield Street - 36 ft. from junction with Royal Avenue (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature  Available
     30  Lombard Street - in line with and positioned in front of public toilets (1)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature)  Issued
    S00040
     31  Lombard Street - at junction with Rosemary Street beside flower planter (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature  Available
     32  Castle Place opposite “Donegall Arcade”  Commodity to be determined including the sale of bus tour tickets but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
    S00097
     33  Berry Street starting at 32 ft. from the junction with Royal Avenue running along the wall at the Telecom Unit  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
     34  Berry Street starting at 46 ft. from the junction with Royal Avenue running along the wall at the Telecom Unit  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
     35  Cornmarket outside “BHS”  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature Issued 202000023
     36  The car park at Shaws Bridge – (one site)  Ice-cream and confectionery  Issued
    S00120
     37  Little Patrick Street - 45 Feet from the Junction with Corporation Street  The sale of commodities including tea, coffee, sandwiches and other hot foods  Unavailable
     38  Winetavern Street - One Site at the Rear of Smithfield Market  Fruit and vegetables  Available
     39  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
    S00113
     40  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
    S00098
     41 Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
    S00110
     42  Fountain Street, 20 ft. from the junction with Wellington Place  Sale of commodities and/or services to be determined  Issued
    2020000008
     43  Cotton Court (Waring Street) One pitch
    see note 2
     Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Available
     44  Hill Street
     - See note 1
     Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Unavailable
     45  Commercial Court
     - See note 2
     Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Available
     46  Falls Park, Falls Road  Flowers  Available
     47  Castle Junction (Kiosk) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Hot and cold non alcoholic beverages, confectionery, ice cream, cold food and theatre, event and bus tour tickets  Available
     48  Antrim Road outside 179-181 Antrim Road  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
    S00081
     49  Springfield Road at junction with Springfield Avenue  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
    S00082
     50  Blackstaff Square, south-west corner - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Tea, coffee and sandwiches or similar commodities  Unavailable
     51  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
    S00121
     52  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 5) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Unavailable
     53  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 6) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Unavailable
     54 Balmoral Road outside former B&Q  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar products  Issued
    S00117
     55  Oldpark Road, in lay-by 45ft from junction with Hillview Road  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar products  Available
     56  Cupar Way  Tourist souvenirs or similar commodities  Pending
     57  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     58  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     59  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     60  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     61  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 5) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     62  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     63  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     64  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     65  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     66  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     67  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
     68  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs Site currently unavailable
    Note 1 Site 44 - Hill Street - licence applications cannot be considered at this time as there is inadequate space for stalls.
    Note 2 Sites 43 - Cotton Court and Site 45 - Commercial Court, which are situated in the Cathedral Quarter, are one of the oldest and most distinctive areas of Belfast. Designated a Conservation Area in 1990, in recent years the Quarter has taken on a pivotal role as the cultural heart of Belfast and is now home to over 50 arts organisations. As such, the Council has set strict commodity guidelines regarding the commodities that may be sold. These guidelines are detailed below. a) Products should be original, locally produced, of high quality and hand-made by professional, indigenous artists and designers. b) Arts – such as fine art, print, photography c) Crafts – such as jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, pottery, clothing and books.
  • Timescales

    Tacit consent does not apply.

    It is in the public interest that Belfast City Council must process your application before it can be granted. The Police, Department for Infrastructure Roads, local residents and local shops and other street traders have a legitimate interest in the outcome of street trading applications.

    Tacit consent does not apply to minimise the risk of a licence being granted inadvertently and subsequently resulting in public disorder, removal of protection to the public and a cumulative adverse environmental impact on the vicinity of the trader. If you have not heard from the council within a reasonable period, please contact us.

    Whilst Tacit Consent does not apply, we will strive to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application, including issuing the licence, within 10 working days of the council decision made in relation to the application.

    The council must give written notice of its decision within a reasonable time.

    Please allow a minimum of 28 days from the date of receipt for us to process your application for a stationary or mobile street trading licence.

    The application for a temporary street trading licence needs to be submitted at least 42 days before the event.

  • Appeals

    You have the right to appeal our decision if:

    • an application is refused
    • a licence is revoked
    • terms, conditions or restrictions are imposed

    The council will serve a notice of its intention and appeals must be lodged to the council in writing within 21 days of the date of the notice informing you of the decision.

    If the council upholds their decision, appeals can be made to the magistrates court within 21 days of the notice of the final decision.

    If an application for a temporary licence is refused the applicant can appeal to the local magistrates court within 21 days of the date of the notice of the decision.

  • Illegal trading

    Under the Street Trading Act, our officers can seize any property, goods, holders, equipment, stalls or vehicles if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that someone is trading illegally. Illegal traders can be fined up to £1,000 and we can have the seized goods destroyed.

  • Report a nuisance vehicle

    If we find a business is causing an obstruction by:

    • selling two or more vehicles parked within 500m of each other on a road
    • carrying out repairs to vehicles parked on a street

    We can fine the business £100 under street trading legislation.

    To report a nuisance vehicle caused by a business, email buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0650.

  • Further information

    We have further guidance which you may also find helpful. Email buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0650 if you want further information on:

    • Street trading licensing policy
    • Policy for temporary street trading licences
    • Designating streets for street trading
    • Street trading stall design guidelines
    • Changed circumstances affecting street trading
    • Street trading commodities and services

    If you have any queries or complaints, or to find out if a licence has been issued, please contact us.

Contact us

For more information and advice, get in touch.

buildingcontrol@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0650

Building Control, Ground Floor, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP

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