Junkyard Market set to return to Norwich after council agree to licence

Organisers of Norwich Junkyard Market, which could return this Christmas Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Organisers of Norwich Junkyard Market, which could return this Christmas Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

A street food event which raised thousands for charity will be allowed to return to the city over Christmas, a council has agreed.

Norwich Junkyard Market, which applied to Norwich City Council for a licence to return to St Mary’s Plain for another run over the festive season, after a popular season during the summer.

The market, which previously operated under a temporary event notice, met with objections from local residents and councillors were forced to debate whether the plans could be allowed to proceed.

But at a meeting of the council’s licensing subcommittee, held on Monday, November 2, it was agreed the organisers would be granted a licence with conditions.

READ MORE: Norwich Junkyard Market poised for Christmas return - if council gives green light

Speaking at the meeting, Alex Russell-Davis, a resident who opposed the plans, said: “The level of noise from patrons departing the site is a major issue of disruption along with littering and public urination outside my neighbours’ homes.”

While neighbour Sandra Olive added: “The people I saw coming into the courtyard were young people who had a lot to drink - sometimes with drink in their hands still. The noise and additional stress of having that there made us uncomfortable.”

She said: “We’re all very aware of the situation we’re in and accepted this was going to be a temporary thing supporting local businesses during Covid-19. A seven day licence is different.”

Most Read

But Gavin Tempest, licencing consultant, speaking on behalf of applicants Afterdark Promotions, said the site was not like the Prince of Wales Road, and that the area had seen no rise in crimes.

READ MORE: Junkyard Market ‘a success’ after more than 27,000 visit

“This has not been a destination for drinkers and it has never been a party destination for rowdy young people,” he added.

But Ms Olive said a lack of data indicated issues went unreported, rather than their absence.

Applicant Michael Femi-Ola said marshals would be on the door and the team had worked with health and safety officials.

“We want to support the local community,” he said. “There can be noise in the city centre and we want to work with local residents, not to alienate them.”

Local councillor Martin Schmierer said there were issues with odours and asked what was being done to address “nuisance”.

But Mr Femi-Ola said the site was “completely enclosed”.

Licensing chairman Ian Stutely said councillors would grant the licence with conditions to maintain social distancing, prevent alcohol being taken offsite and stop people loitering outside, as well as compelling the applicant to follow the risk assessment.

READ MORE: ‘Not enough room for both’: traders hit out over Junkyard Market