Is it time to pull the plug on amp boosted Bury buskers?

Should Buttermarket be alive with the sound of music or do you want to shop in peace?
Should Buttermarket be alive with the sound of music or do you want to shop in peace?
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Buskers with amplifiers are beginning to outstay their welcome, a Bury St Edmunds business leader fears.

The OurBuryStEdmunds business improvement district is getting complaints from town centre businesses that some of the buskers in town are simply too loud.

Mark Cordell, the BID’s chief executive, said: “If you are a member of the public nand passing by, it improves the atmosphere but if they’re outside your business for two or three hours and you can’t hear what your customers are saying it’s another thing.

“Nobody is saying ‘buskers must go’, it’s just the volume.

“In the old days someone busking acoustically was fine, but most now have speakers with sound tracks to accompany them or have amplifiers.

“I was walking past The Nutshell and thought ‘what’s that noise’ and it was someone with an amplifier outside Marks and Spencer.”

He said an amplified busker playing amplified rock in The Traverse had drawn complaints from as far as Whiting Street.

Mr Cordell added: “It’s about people being inconsiderate. I asked on Twitter, should we have a no amp rule, but how would you enforce it?”

But electronic buskers could be in trouble.

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The borough council has no specific policies on busking, but the if the busker is using amplification on the highway, they should contact the council for a temporary event licence.

“The busker should also be mindful that prolonged and loud amplified music could be causing a noise nuisance. Our Licensing and Environmental Health Teams both have powers to investigate noise complaints and they will take formal action after first working with the busker and complainant to find a way forward.”