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Cromer street goods scheme a step closer

PUBLISHED: 13:46 28 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:03 13 July 2010

Richard Batson

A move to make traders pay to put goods, tables and adverts outside their seaside shops at Cromer has taken another step forward.

The permit scheme was given the backing of North Norfolk District Council's licensing committee today.

A move to make traders pay to put goods, tables and adverts outside their seaside shops at Cromer has taken another step forward.

The permit scheme was given the backing of North Norfolk District Council's licensing committee today.

It is likely to get an official launch on January 1 next year - and could then be spread to other towns across the district.

Before the system starts however businesses will be shown how it will work at a planned “roadshow” with a mocked-up pavement, environmental health manager Chris Cawley told the committee.

He said a code of practice drawn up after consultations with local commerce and councillors sought to balance trading needs with footway safety.

It would cover racks of goods - such as shoes, greengrocery and beach items - along with pavement café tables, and advertising A-boards.

The old chestnut reared itself last year after a member of the public complained about obstruction and highways officials initially threatened to confiscate items - before a campaign, with George the Fat Plastic Butcher as its figurehead, resulted in talks to find a middle ground solution.

Permits will cost a basic £25, but others involving larger spaces will be higher to reflect a “rent” for the county council owned highway land involved, said Mr Cawley.

Some applications would be controversial and the committee would sit as a panel to hear appeals which would issue an order or seek a compromise.

He added that in some pedestrianised streets the council could be “a little more generous” than in normal streets where people mixed with traffic.

Mr Cawley also said the system would probably have to be “tweaked” in liaison with local traders before being introduced to other towns.

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