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Sudbury: New rules governing use of A-boards in Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 08:27 27 August 2014

Archant

Steps are being taken to regulate the use of ‘A’ board signs in the streets of a historic west Suffolk market town.

According to Sudbury Town Council, a growing number of the signs have been appearing ‘illegally’ in unsuitable locations throughout the town during recent months.

Deputy town clerk Jacqui Howells said it had become evident that some form of regulation was needed to control their use.

Until now, the town council’s policy has always been to ban any A-boards in the town centre. However, several traders have ignored the rules.

So during the past six months, the town council has been in discussion with Suffolk County Council, Babergh District Council and retailers to identify a workable solution to the ongoing problem.

Town council warden Bradley Smith said: “In the current economic climate, we understand that business owners need to use A-boards to advertise because they help to bring in trade – particularly to premises at the far end of some of the streets.

“But some traders have about five A-boards out in the town, nowhere near their premises, and if every business did the same thing, our narrow pavements would quickly become overrun.

“The law says no A-boards full stop unless the necessary planning permission is granted but we have decided to relax the rules a bit so we can come up with a uniform policy that gives us some control over their use.”

Mrs Howells added: “We recognise that it is imperative that retailers in Sudbury are given every support in ensuring that businesses thrive and the town remains vibrant. But it is also important that the town is kept accessible to all members of the public and at the same time keeping the town looking tidy and uncluttered.”

A compromise has now been agreed with the other local authorities whereby retailers will be able to display one A-board in a size and location to be agreed with the council’s community wardens.

In addition, the wardens will be visiting all retailers, restaurants and pubs in the town during the coming weeks to agree a suitable place for each of the individual A-boards to be sited.

Sudbury mayor Robert Spivey said: “Although this is not a perfect solution, it does provide a compromise that will suit both the public and our retailers.”

Letters will be sent out shortly to all town centre retailers outlining details of the scheme.

Any queries can be made to community warden, Bradley Smith on 01787 372331 or by email at bradley.smith@sudburytowncouncil.co.uk

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