Royal row breaks out in Sheringham ahead of Queen’s birthday bash

Sheringham Primary School pupils join Sheringham Mayor David Gooch, Sheringham town crier Tony Nelso

Sheringham Primary School pupils join Sheringham Mayor David Gooch, Sheringham town crier Tony Nelson and Brian Farrow from the Sheringham Shantymen at the town clock to promote the Queen's birthday street party on June 11. Picture: CHRISTAYLORPHOTO.CO.UK - Credit: Archant

Plans to host one of the longest street parties in the county have hit a dead end - after organisers failed to apply for the road to be closed. But the celebrations are still going ahead.

Much-vaunted plans to stage one of the longest street parties in the county appear to have hit a dead end - after organisers failed to apply for the road to be closed.

Sheringham Town Council is throwing the event in the town centre on Saturday to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

It had hoped to shut the roads leading from the town centre roundabout to the seafront especially for the occasion.

But now it has emerged that councillors only applied to the local authority for two of the three roads to be closed - part of Church Street and High Street - leaving Station Road, the main shopping street in the town, open to traffic.

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Commenting on the announcement on social-networking site Facebook, Julie Chalmers said: 'Sheringham youth zone has a table for their youngsters on Station Road! We shall not be moved!! To join as one community, to enjoy and celebrate our Queen's birthday, to enjoy each other, to make memories and stories for our town's young people to remember.'

Helen Jewers said: 'I sincerely hope they find a solution to this. It would be a great shame not to have the whole town centre closed to traffic just for this short time!'

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Simone Harper said: 'Indeed, our children will probably never see another street party, I've never seen one in my lifetime so we are very excited about it.'

It was intially thought that the Station Road closure had been blocked following a single complaint from a member of the public - which provoked a public outcry.

However, Norfolk County Council, which is responsible for approving applications, denied it was being 'killjoys'.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: 'We have done everything that has been asked of us and complied with the request to close part of Church Street and High Street. For the sake of clarity, we have never been asked to close Station Road tomorrow - and the party is going ahead in full within the boundaries set by the roads we have been asked to close.

'We can confirm that we have received a formal complaint from a member of the public who has learned through publicity material that it was the organisers' intention to do so.

'We are not killjoys, but this underlines the need for people who wish to close a road to give notice and let us know their intentions so that everyone has time to consider it. We wish the event every success and can confirm that a number of streets in Sheringham – including Station Road – will be closed on Sunday for the Classic Car Show in line with the request we received.'

Sheringham Town Council has confirmed the street party is still going ahead. Tables will be set up from 3pm. There will be music from 4pm with the party in full flow by 5pm until 7pm.

Sheringham Carnival events manager Graham Deans, who is helping to organise the event, blamed 'a minor technical reason' for the failure to apply for the closure of Station Road.

He explained that the advice on the government website is that no permission was needed to hold a smaller event.

However, because the whole town was invited, a local resident has complained that it was not a small event and therefore permission from the local council was needed.

Mr Deans, who revealed the traders were supportive of the Station Road closure, said: 'This one complaint has caused immense disruption. A huge amount of effort has gone in to the organisation of this - and I would like to thank the highways department at the council and the police for their support.

'This has only served to bring the whole town together and now all we can ask for is good weather.'

To support the event, visitors to the town by rail will enjoy free treats at the station, as train operator Abellio Greater Anglia continues its giveaway of over 7,000 cupcakes to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

Abellio Greater Anglia staff and members of the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership will be giving out 'Union Jack' themed cupcakes to rail passengers between 2.30pm and 5pm on Saturday as part of the national 'Station to Station Queen's Celebration' campaign.

The celebrations commenced on Tuesday with the start of the cupcake giveaway at many stations on the network, and have continued all week, culminating in a giant tea party at Burnham Station House and celebrations at Reedham and Sheringham stations this weekend.

Paul Oxley, Abellio Greater Anglia's Stakeholder Manager, said: 'We are delighted to help host the events at Reedham and Sheringham as part of the national Station to Station Queen's Celebration campaign.

'We hope rail users on the Bittern and Wherry Lines, and the wider community, enjoy the events and join us in marking Her Majesty's 90th Birthday.'

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