New rules to curb Cromer street displays
By RICHARD BATSONrichard.firstname.lastname@example.orgA third of the goods, adverts and tables standing on Cromer's streets are set to be swept away as new rules aimed at clearing clutter from the resort's pavements begin to bite.
By RICHARD BATSON
A third of the goods, adverts and tables standing on Cromer's streets are set to be swept away as new rules aimed at clearing clutter from the resort's pavements begin to bite.
Shops with narrow pathways outside are likely to struggle to provide the 2m of clear pavement needed to get a licence under a code of conduct that will come into force after Christmas.
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A roadshow is coming to town next week to explain the new scheme to traders, and help them find ways to comply.
But a traders' chief has called for a sympathetic enforcement of the scheme to ensure the seaside feel of the town was not spoiled.
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The street clutter saga stretches back to last year when Norfolk County Council threatened to clear all advertisement boards, goods, tables and chairs from the streets after a complaint from a member of the public about one A-board causing an obstruction.
Objections by traders, focused on the fate of George the Fat Plastic Butcher outside Icarus Hines' shop, resulted in a climbdown. And talks between council officials and traders resulted in a permit system due being introduced in the New Year - and which could be brought in across all north Norfolk towns.
Environmental health manager Chris Cawley said:“Ideally we are looking for 2m clearance, but the rule of thumb is that if it wide enough to let a pram or wheelchair past people should start talking to us. If not, you won't get permission.”
Some objects that did not relate to the business such as decorative planters, or advert boards placed a distance away to signpost shoppers up side streets would also not be allowed - but could be replaced by permanent signs on the side of buildings.
Permits would cost a basic £25, but there could be other administration costs if it were a difficult case, and tables and chairs could also involve an extra “rent factor” as they were using highway land to generate trading income.
Mr Cawley said he thought about a third of the existing goods would get permission, a third would have to be modified and a third would “have to go”.
Officials will talk traders through the system at the Cromer Community Centre, the former WI hall, in Garden Street on Monday from noon to about 7.30pm.