Thursday, February 29, 2024

Public consultation sees mixed results for Retford market proposals

A report to Bassetlaw District Council’s Cabinet on 8th February is recommending that plans for semi-permanent market stalls on Retford market are scrapped following the results of a public consultation. The report calls for new proposals to be worked up instead, in collaboration with market traders and wider stakeholders.

However, the Cabinet report separately recommends that plans to repurpose the Buttermarket at Retford Town Hall to provide an additional indoor trading space are taken forward.

The Council launched a six-week consultation in November and received 571 formal responses. On the plans to install bespoke, semi-permanent, multi-purpose market stalls on the Market Square in Retford town centre, two thirds of respondents (66.38%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal. This was largely due to concerns about new stalls being a target for anti-social behaviour, the long-term visual impact on the Market Square and the functionality of the proposed stalls. A petition opposing the proposal was also received by the Council.

In contrast, the plans to repurpose the Buttermarket were positively received with 64.10% of respondents either agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposal. The Cabinet report recommends that the Council, therefore, continues to develop the Buttermarket project.

Outside of the main consultation, Council officers spoke to more than 80 traders across the Provisions, Antiques, Farmers and Craft Markets. Traders have provided a wide range of feedback and moving forwards, the Council will directly engage with traders from all markets, alongside the National Association of British Markets, to work up proposals and explore these ideas further.

Councillor James Naish, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “I’d like to thank everybody that took part in the consultation which showed how much people value their local market. It is clear from the responses that the plans for semi-permanent market stalls lack public support, and it is important that we listen to this and identify other options.

“I think we also have to acknowledge that we could have worked with a wider group of market traders to develop the proposals for the market in advance, and we will make sure that this happens moving forwards.

“I am pleased that the evolution of the Buttermarket did have public support, and I am looking forward to seeing these plans further developed to offer new trading opportunities in the future.

“We all want Retford Market to be sustainable in the long term, with the Market Square used for its historic purpose for many years to come. I will ensure that we work with our traders and key stakeholders to bring forwards new plans that help to safeguard the future of the market.”

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