The transformation of Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place can continue after a planning application to provide outdoor seating was approved.
Members of West Norfolk Council’s planning committee unanimously agreed to allow a change of use of part of the public highway to seating areas.
These will be in areas outside the Duke’s Head Hotel, the Corn Exchange and at the southern end of the market place.
The Tuesday Market Place has recently been refurbished with replacement paving in a £1million renovation project which was completed in November.
A report to the committee stated: “The Tuesday Market Place is the largest and most significant urban open space in terms of public realm.
“This proposal is for a change of use of the land following the major refurbishments which have taken place to improve the visual appearance and ease movement within this open space.”
Mr Bamfield confirmed that Prezzo and the Duke’s Head would definitely be using outdoor seating, but said the Gourmet Plaza had not committed themselves, and council had not yet heard from the Maids Head.
Chris Bamfield, the council’s head of leisure and public space, said: “We will issue annual licences to these places.
“We will be able to control the type of street furniture, use of the area, keeping it clean etc.”
Councillor Gourlay asked if the seating equipment would be outside permanently during the summer or whether it would have to be packed away at the end of each night.
Mr Bamfield confirmed that the furniture would be chained up when not in use.
No consulted bodies raised objections to the proposals but English Heritage requested controls be imposed on the type of seating and umbrellas that would be used.
Opponents to the scheme argued that it would prevent the Mart from going ahead in February and questioned what would happen to Festival Too, but the council confirmed the changes would not prevent these uses from continuing.
Now that permission has been granted the council is awaiting applications from businesses on the Tuesday Market Place for licences to use the seating areas.
A spokesman said they hoped to see seating in use by the Spring.