Gorleston traders’ anger at street numbering demand

TRADERS in Gorleston town centre voiced anger this week after receiving a demand to put street numbers on their premises.

Notices have been sent to shops and businesses from Great Yarmouth Borough Council reminding them that all buildings should numbered.

The letter warns that the council is empowered to place numbers on unmarked properties and recover the cost from the owners.

It states measures can be taken under the terms of the 1847 Town Improvement Clauses Act to enable mail to be delivered correctly and emergency vehicles to locate addresses.

However, it was dismissed as “red tape nonsense” and “bureaucracy gone mad” by irate traders on the busy shop hub.

Barkers Photographic general manager Victor Ling said: “This is a complete waste of time and resources from a council facing a lot of cuts.

“In the last year we have had two postmen and I have asked both of these if they have had problems delivering letters to the High Street and neither of them had.

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“They tend to be able to use their intelligence and refer to the business name which, in every single shop down the High Street, is prominently displayed.”

He added: “I have had to call an ambulance after finding someone collapsed – and clear and concise directions were given which involved the names of shops. The ambulance driver seemed to have no problem finding the injured person.”

Other retailers also voiced irritation at the clampdown, saying the council should focus on helping small business during difficult trading conditions.

One, who did not wish to be named, said: “If I have to put a number on the premises I will make sure it is a small one.

“There has never been a problem with correspondence getting to businesses. This is bureaucracy gone mad and someone trying to find a job to do.

“Car parking spaces have been taken away from outside the shop and people wonder why the High Street is failing. The council should be doing something to help not hinder.”

Sue Ryder Care shop manager Jane Docwra said: “Most shops don’t have a number, I have been working here seven years and it has never been a problem. I don’t see why it is an issue now. We will have to fit a number, because if the council did it they would charge a lot.”

However, there was support for the council from Anthony Spalding who owns Jimmy D’s menswear. He said: “It is important for businesses to be numbered. I have them prominently displayed on either side of the shop front. Emergency services need to know property numbers so they can be put into the sat nav system.”

According to the council the action is being taken after emergency services struggled to locate properties on the High Street.

Planning policy manager David Glason said: “Our street naming and numbering officer carried out the letter drop at the request of the emergency services.

“Residents may know where businesses are, but the emergency services turn up and do not have that local knowledge. I understand this is old legislation, but it is still the law and we have a duty to enforce it.”