Rules set to change despite trader protests at Brighton’s only street market

New rules bringing a market into line with other street traders are likely to be approved this week.

At the moment Upper Gardner Street Market in Brighton’s North Laine has slightly different restrictions to the street traders in other parts of the city.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Licensing Committee  are expected to approve new rules resulting in traders staying within their allocated spaces, provide litter bins and getting rid of their rubbish.

More than 500 people signed a petition to keep the old rules allowing traders to spread out, and removing the requirement to take away rubbish at the 100-year-old market.

Market trader Steve Swain argued in the petition that traders using empty pitches meant the market would not look “deserted” and “uninviting”.

There are 74 pitches available in the street and 54 are currently allocated as of January 2020.

This is a year-on-year improvement as in 2018, 38 stalls were let and 44 in 2019.

The report going before the committee said: “The aim of these proposed changes is to make Brighton and Hove’s Street Trading Policy more transparent, enforceable and consistent and to bring the market in line with the rest of the council’s Street Trading Policy.

“Following visits to Upper Gardner Street Market, officers have observed traders operating outside their specified marked site and refuse being left at the end of the trading day.

“This has led to obstruction and litter complaints from residents and other traders.”

A four-week public consultation carried out in October and November last year received four responses from traders and eight from residents and local businesses.

Comments from the consultation are included in the report, discussing the empty spaces and litter.

One response, with personal details removed, said most of the litter was caused by people walking through the streets rather than stall holders.

They also want stalls to take up empty space.

The comment said: “Generally markets look better when they’re fuller, and therefore more interesting to visitors.

“I can see no good reason for asking traders not to make the market look better.”

Another comment said traders spreading out keeps the market alive through the winter.

They said: “There seems to be no justification for condensing this market to a skeletal and barren form, particularly at this time of year when fewer traders have stalls and the weather keeps some away.”

Complaints from people in the street list problems from traders setting up on the pavements outside their homes and front doors, to leaning goods against the front of their homes.

On person wrote they had considered the market when buying the house but did not expect their home would be used to display items and their access blocked.

They said: “I have had to contact the council about the problems with the market traders on several occasions.

“Each time a new trader is pitched outside my house I then have to communicate with them, all over again, to reset clear boundaries around not leaning, blocking or using the front of my house for their trading.”

The Licensing Committee is due to meet in public at Hove Town Hall from 3pm on Thursday 12 March.

  1. BrightonReader Reply

    If this does notstop the traders parkigntheir cars and vans on the street making it a car park with a market attached then this is a waste of time. Bit hard for some traders to spread out if the space is taken up with vehicles.

    As for the two traders that week in week out park their cars across the pavement that also needs to stop.

    The marker itself is fine but some of the traders do themselves no favours by theit behaviour

  2. Nearly Reply

    Interesting read!

  3. Nearly Reply

    For goodness sake, it’s only on once a week – everyone knew about the market when they moved in. I live in the street and have no problem at all from the stallho!ders! Everyone needs to chill out……..leaning things against the house – really, that’s a cause for concern? If you don’t like it then move!

    • BrightonReader Reply

      Houses aren’t part of the market pitch area though. They have no right to lean things on houses or block peoples doorways.

      You might not care re your house but other residents do.

      I live on the street as well and had no problems until about 18 months or so ago when more and more traders started parking their cars and vans on the street when residents have to move theirs.

      There are now up to a dozen parked every week. It hardly makes the market attractive when parts of it look like a car park rather than a market.

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