Special events

Learn about licence information for public events and street pitches or trading on highways.

Trading at events

If you wish to trade at a recognised community event, you'll need to apply for a community street trading event licence.

What you need to know before applying

A community event is one which is based within the boundaries of the borough and is self-funding, run by volunteers, and/or established to benefit residents' groups, business groups or charities. You require a licence if you're organising or taking part in the event, and any display from which goods or services are bought or sold is on (or within) 7 metres of the highway.

To grant a community street trading event licence, the following conditions apply:

  • you must be over 17 years of age
  • you must provide specific information, including details of the street you wish to trade on and the days and times you wish to trade
  • you may be required to provide 2 photographs of yourself
  • the licence will apply for the duration of the event
  • the use of electrical generators at any display must be approved by Hillingdon Council before use
  • the licensee is responsible for ensuring the trading area is kept free of litter and rubbish during hours of trading.

We may refuse a licence if:

  • there is not enough space in the street you wish to trade in, without causing interference or inconvenience to street users
  • you're unsuitable to hold a licence due to any previous convictions or for other reasons
  • you have previously failed to pay fees due under another street trading licence or have failed to use a previous street trading licence.

How to apply

Complete an Application for a community/charity event trading licence (PDF) [165KB] and email, post, or hand-deliver it to the licensing team. You can contact the team by emailing licensing@hillingdon.gov.uk or calling 01895 558311 (open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm). The address is:

Licensing team
3S/08 Civic Centre
High Street

Please note: We cannot process your completed form until we receive the fee. If you wish to pay by cheque, please make it payable to the London Borough of Hillingdon. Alternatively, the fee may be paid over the telephone using a credit or debit card.

Application evaluation process

Under certain circumstances, if certain grounds for refusal exist, the council may still award a licence, for example for fewer days than required, or to allow trade in certain items. The council will either grant the application or serve a notice on you within a reasonable time.

The notice will be served if the council intends to:

  • refuse the application
  • grant it on different terms than those applied for
  • confine trading to a particular place in a street
  • vary conditions of a licence
  • revoke a licence.

The notice will detail the reasons for their decision and explain that within 7 days of the notice, you can request the opportunity to make representations.

What happens next?

If your application is not processed by Hillingdon Council within the timescales stated, tacit consent applies. This means you'll be able to act as though your application is granted if you've not heard from the Hillingdon Council by the end of the target completion period.

If we've not contacted you, please get in touch with us. You can do this online if you applied through GOV.UK set up a business or contact the licensing service team by calling 01895 558311 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or emailing licensing@hillingdon.gov.uk.

Target completion period



Processing times

Tacit consent

Application for a Community Street Trading Event Licence

60 calendar days


Application to change a Community Street Trading Event Licence

90 calendar days



You should submit the application for renewal of your licence no later than 2 months before the expiry date of the licence or you'll be asked to apply for a new licence. You and your employed assistants will be asked to provide documents with your application form.

We'll need to see:

  • a copy of a valid passport with work permit (if applicable)
  • proof of address
  • national insurance number
  • £2 million public liability insurance cover
  • 2 passport photographs.

Failed application/licence holder redress

In the first instance, please contact the regulatory service team via the licensing team by calling 01895 558311 (open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or emailing licensing@hillingdon.gov.uk.  If you wish to appeal a decision of the council, you may appeal to Uxbridge Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the date you were notified of the decision. You may appeal the decision of the Magistrates' Court to the local Crown Court.


We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, you make the first contact with the trader, preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Should you need to complain about, for example, noise, pollution, etc. or should one licence holder have cause to complain about another, please contact the council's contact centre.

Page last updated: 21 Apr 2023