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Street Collecting

You need a street collection permit if you are collecting money or selling goods for charitable purposes on a street or in a public place

Applications must be submitted at least 4 weeks before collection is due to commence.

It's illegal in this country to hold a street collection to collect money or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes without getting a street collection permit from us if that collection is to be held 'in a street or public place'. A 'public place' is a 'place where the public has access'.

It's often assumed that collections held in shop doorways or car parks do not need a street collection licence because they are being held on 'privately owned land'. This is not true, as the legislation doesn't mention the ownership of the land, or treat collections on 'privately owned land' as exempt from the licensing regulations.

A shop doorway or car park, when that shop is open for trading, is a 'public place' because the public has access at that time. Only local authorities issue street collection permits under Section 5 of the Police, Factories, & c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916, as amended by the Local Government Act 1972 and Schedule 29 of that act.

Before applying for a Street Collection permit within Fenland, the applicant must obtain permission to collect in that location from the landowner.

Fenland District Council do not issue Direct Debit collection permits.


No fee is required for a Street Collection permit.

How to apply

Please complete the application form (Word doc) [369KB] and email to

Fines and Penalties 

You could be fined £200 if you collect money for charity without a licence. 


Tacit consent does not apply to this type of application, as it is in the public interest that Fenland District Council must process your application before it can be authorised. If you have not received a response to your application within a reasonable period, please contact us by emailing

After you have carried out a collection

You must complete a return of statement form to include:

  • what has been collected; and
  • how much has been passed to the charity after any deduction

You need to do this even if no money was collected.

Failure to make a return may result in future collections being refused. 

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