Traders oppose ‘heartbreaking’ proposal to move town market

PUBLISHED: 12:50 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 30 August 2018

Yarmouth market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Yarmouth market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Ella Wilkinson

Traders have voiced their anger and disbelief at Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s proposal to move the town’s historic market as a petition against the plans was handed in.

Yarmouth market. Picture: Ella WilkinsonYarmouth market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Great Yarmouth’s market place has been one of the town’s major attractions for hundreds of years but the council has announced plans to re-locate it closer to the Minster.

It says the redevelopment will improve the local area, attracting more people to Yarmouth.

The proposals have been greeted with strong opposition from traders.

Brewer’s Chip Saloon has been trading on the site for 116 years and is owned by Robin Platten. He said: “The proposals have broke my heart as I’ve fought hard through some tough times to keep my business running.

Jimmy Wilson of Barrie's Tea Stall hard at work in Great Yarmouth marketJimmy Wilson of Barrie's Tea Stall hard at work in Great Yarmouth market

“If the plans go ahead it will destroy the history of the markets, the heritage of the town and our pensions. I’ll have no choice but to walk away.”

Jimmy Wilson, owner of Barrie’s Tea Stall and which has been in his wife’s family for 70 years, said: “People visit our tea stall because of the memories and if we have to move it just won’t be the same. The regeneration will close my business.

“The council are risking 32 businesses on the off chance the regeneration attracts more investment.”

A petition which has 3,024 signatures opposing the plans was submitted to the Borough Council by Chris Walch, council member for Cental and Northgate ward.

Councillor for Central and Northgate ward, Chris Walch, with the petition opposing proposals to move the Great Yarmouth market. Picture: Chris WalchCouncillor for Central and Northgate ward, Chris Walch, with the petition opposing proposals to move the Great Yarmouth market. Picture: Chris Walch

He said: “We all agree that the market place needs investment but it doesn’t need to be moved. The council is messing with people’s livelihoods and incomes. That is totally wrong.”

Mr Walch set the petition in conjunction with Ayeshia Hammond Young, who is the National Market Traders’ Federation rep for Great Yarmouth.

She said: “The plans that have been outlined could be really good but my biggest concern is the businesses that trade here. They have invested heavily over the past 100 years and this jeopardizes a lot of their hard work.”

Council leader, Graham Plant, said: “The redevelopment of the Market Place for the 21st century is a key project of the wider Town Centre Masterplan, which aims to boost this central area as a place where more people choose to live, work, visit and invest.

“At this stage, there are no formal plans: the design team and council officers are engaging with the market traders, retailers and others around initial design ideas and listening to their thoughts and ideas. The petition is part of that listening process.

“The final decision will be for the committee. Once a final design is agreed, we will be talking to each individual trader about their own circumstances and aspirations around how they wish to proceed.”

More traders reaction

Several other traders have strongly opposed the council’s plan. James Rose who owns Dearno’s Market Chips which has been a family business for 50 years, said: “We invested £80, 000 into the stall two years ago and it’s all of bespoke fitting so we’d have to scrap it all. The market draws people from all over the world to it because of the history and individuality of the stalls.

“There needs to be investment but that should be based around improving people’s whole experience of being in Yarmouth not on re-locating the stalls.”

Carr’s Chips has been trading in the market for 31 years. Owner Steve Carr invested £75,000 into his business eight years ago, he said: “I’ve just paid off my loan and now if we move we’ll be asked to do that again which I won’t be able to do.

“Everything we built was made to last until I retired and now I might not get any compensation.”

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