Street adverts could go from pavements
GOODS and advertisements could be swept off the pavements of Fakenham and Wells after a dramatic pilot clean-up in Cromer.The bid to make streets tidier and safer has cleared two thirds of the resort's goods and advertisements off the pavements with the scheme being monitored and other towns in north Norfolk likely to face a similar clampdown in a year.
GOODS and advertisements could be swept off the pavements of Fakenham and Wells after a dramatic pilot clean-up in Cromer.
The bid to make streets tidier and safer has cleared two thirds of the resort's goods and advertisements off the pavements with the scheme being monitored and other towns in north Norfolk likely to face a similar clampdown in a year.
A dozen Cromer shops and cafes have been given licenses to have tables, chairs and goods outside their premises, where the pavement is wide enough for them not to be a hazard.
But many more have not applied because the path was too narrow and would not have met the requirements of the new laws, which came into effect on January 1.
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The same rules will be introduced to other towns - North Walsham, Sheringham, Holt, Fakenham and Wells, on January 1 next year, said North Norfolk District Council's environmental health manager Chris Cawley.
But one of the leading campaigners over the issue, Cromer butch Icarus Hines has said the clampdown was coming at exactly the wrong time for hard-pressed traders in town centres, where experts were predicting one in 10 shops would be closing in the economic downturn.
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His fat plastic butcher called George has been at the forefront of this and earlier attempts to clear obstructions from Cromer's streets.
Mr Hines has previously voiced his anger that he had paid �260 for planning permission for George in the past, and was now faced with paying another �25 for the new licensing scheme.
“I was angry, but I will pay up, because I have spent 25 years building up this business. However I may not roll over so easily at Sheringham where the pavement is narrower and I could have more of a problem.
“It just seems the wrong time to be doing this with the state of the economy,” added.
Most of those getting licences were in the main shopping street with wider pavements, confirmed Mr Cawley, who said that despite concerns the rules would kill off the caf� culture and holiday feel of the streets, there was “still a living street scene.”
The council would be monitoring the scheme to ensure shops were on their “best behaviour” in the future as well as now.
If everything at Cromer went to plan, as it seemed to be, the system would be put into other local towns on January 1 2010.