Street trading rules relaxed to boost Lowestoft seafront

Directors of the First Light Festival CIC team with staff at the East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft as

Directors of the First Light Festival CIC team with staff at the East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft as work continues. - Credit: Mick Howes

Street trading rules around Lowestoft seafront have been relaxed to allow more pop-up stalls and encourage more footfall, particularly at key events.

East Suffolk Council's licensing committee unanimously agreed to 'undesignate' the street trading policy for the seafront between East Point Pavilion and Claremont Pier, Royal Terrace, Royal Plain, Parade Road North and parts of Marine Parade and Royal Green car park.

It comes as part of the revamp of East Point Pavilion, with plans for up to 46 events there driven by the organisers of the First Light Festival.

Current rules meant only three street trading licences could be issued in those areas, with traders having to pay both yearly and daily fees to do so.

Just four responses were gathered as part of the four-week public consultation - two in support and two neutral.

It is hoped the relaxed rules there will encourage more footfall and support events and local traders.

Speaking at the committee meeting on Monday night, April 11, licensing manager Martin Clarke said: "This does not mean it would be a free-for-all.

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"These areas are, apart from the road, owned by the council and therefore anybody who trades on any of this land will need the council's permission.

"We are planning to start reviewing the entire street trading policy for the district in the autumn.

"This would be a useful guide as to how undesignated street trading can go.

"The licensing team will keep an eye on this area and if there are any problems then we will report back to them."

Concerns were raised over whether the street traders would have an impact on existing businesses in London Road South, but the council said that as it would still need to grant permission to traders as the landowner, it would not look to adversely impact those existing businesses.

In the February licensing committee meeting, Lizzie Hall from First Light Festival said having extra traders would help drive footfall and make for "a wonderful attraction for people."

Among the events under consideration at the Pavilion are a children's literature festival, vintage fairs and events showcasing local produce.