Market rights

The council's statutory market rights prevent any person operating a market within 62/3 miles of any council run market without our express permission.

Statutory rights

Our statutory rights are set out in Part VII of the Birmingham Corporation (Consolidation) Act 1883.  These rights have been upheld in the cases of:

  • Mayor, Alderman & Citizens of the City of Birmingham -v- Foster (1894) 70 LT 371
  • Birmingham Corporation -v- Perry Barr Stadium Ltd (1972) 1AER 725
  • Birmingham City Council -v- In Shops Centre Plc (1992) High Court & Court of Appeal (Unreported)

In the 1992 case we secured an interlocutory injunction to restrain a market from opening without its consent.  The operator paid our legal costs, which exceeded £30,000.

Definition of a market

A market is a concourse of buyers and sellers.  Any person who erects stalls on their land and takes rent in the nature of stallage from persons who have brought goods there to sell will be conducting a market, as will a person who uses their land to encourage and provide for a concourse of buyers and sellers.  The term market includes both a fair and a car boot sale.

Prescribed distance

The distance of 62/3 miles is measured from our own markets in the city centre, and from any other market we may open from time to time within our boundary.

We can therefore prevent the holding of a market outside our boundary if such a market is within 62/3 miles of our own market.

Same day market

We may take legal action to prevent markets from opening which are to be held on the same day as one of our own markets, without having to prove any damage.  At least one of our markets is open every day.

Applications to hold a market

If you want to check if you need our permission for your proposed market, or you want to apply for permission to hold a market, please contact us.

We will take legal action to prevent the opening and continued operation of any market which does not have permission.