Traders group in move to bring in more business

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A GROUP of traders in a Bury St Edmunds street is backing a pub’s bid to combat a loss of business since the opening of the arc shopping centre.

The Risbygate Street Traders’ Association is calling on St Edmundsbury Borough Council to permit the use of A-boards following an application by The St Edmunds Tavern.

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger, who is both a member of the borough council and chairman of the traders’ group, said the move came after landlady Joanna Wallace was asked to remove an A-board and put in a licensing application to the council.

“The removal of the A-board has already impacted heavily on the business. Trade has dropped considerably and we need to make sure that such a fine establishment flourishes,” said Cllr Hopfensperger.

He and his wife, Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger, run the Body and Mind Studio and are considering putting in an application.

“My father had an A-board when he had his fish and chip shop here so the precedent has long been set,” said Cllr Hopfensperger.

Other traders also support the move.

“The council doesn’t seem to realise the importance of this sort of advertising. Companies need all the help they can get to generate business,” said Vicky Norris, from Anglia Arms.

Nick Duncan, from Sounds Plus, said: “I support anything that draws more attention to the street. The Tavern itself is a draw to the street, so anything advertising its presence must also be an asset.

“Having recently started Sunday and Bank Holiday opening myself, I crave the width of pavement that would permit Sounds Plus to advertise the fact of our being open on unfamiliar days.”

A council spokeswoman said businesses wanting an A- board needed to apply both to the highway authority at Suffolk County Council and for a street vending permit, which St Edmunds Tavern haddone. It will also need planning permission if it wants the A- board up for more than 28 days a year.

The council’s planning department has objected to the street permit saying it will cause a ‘highway hazard’. A decision will be made by councillors on Thursday.