I've just checked out what we have to do to be legal.
The council said we only had to get permission from the Town Centre Manager.
Suggest you find out exactly which local bye-law (if any) allows them to force you to get permission to use the public highway - assuming it is the public highway?
Here in Cambridge there's a (free) council permit you need if collecting money. Otherwise, as far as I know, no permission is required from anyone to set up a stall, and we've never had any trouble.
I've also helped on stalls in Norwich, Ipswich Bedford & King's Lynn - again, no permission required, and no problems.
I know Swindon has had problems over stall space (the council says they need liability insurance), so they just campaign on the hoof, without a stall.