Market Moves

Never has such a sterile title for a Planning Committee application [pdf] actually seemed so significant:

Change of use from loading and parking bay to market on market trading days.

Which all means that when the Planning Committee at CBC meets this Thursday, it will effectively set the ball rolling for the return of the market along the High Street in Colchester.

Hurrah!

But steady the buffers before you go dreaming of local market traders from Jumbo all the way down to the Castle.

We’re talking specifically:

“The south side of High Street Colchester which extends from the junction with Head Street to Pelham’s Lane.”

Plus it is the stalls from Charter Market and NOT Culver Street West and St Nicholas Square that will be shifted.

We’re talking about 50 stalls – still a significant number.

With CBC already advertising for a Market Manager, the return to the High Street could happen as soon as spring 2015.

But first the small matter of the red tape of Planning and loading bays needs to be overcome.

The Planning Committee is considering the application ‘cos… it has been submitted by CBC.

Turkeys, Christmas etc.

Once again the detail is:

“The application proposes the change of use from loading and parking bays to market on market trading days.”

6-7 spaces will be surrendered twice a week, plus once a month on a Sunday. This may not sound like a lot, but space is tight along the High Street. Existing retailers have a tight turnaround when it comes to receiving deliveries.

And what of the cyclists?

“The relocated market will be using the first four bays on the south side of the High Street which includes the current cycle parking bay.”

Oh.

The comments submitted to CBC ahead of Planning are largely favourable. Some decent Q’s have been asked by retailers and residents. Most have been answered adequately:

“This project will only benefit the town if it is managed by someone who knows what they are doing and ensures that there is variety and quality. Do it properly and keep the tat out!”

One man’s sourdough bread is another man’s first step towards crappy Sunny Colch foodie gentrification.

Anyone remember the old boy down at the early 90’s market who use to sell second hand porno mags?

Ewww.

No thanks, fella.

The Planning report concludes with not surprisingly CBC recommending that CBC rubber-stamps the application

“The location of the market in High Street will increase the vitality and vibrancy of the street and is supported.”

We are personally looking forward to a return to the market along the High Street. We’ve no idea if it will increase trade for other retailers – or even take away trade from other parts of the town.

But the High Street needs a BUZZ at the weekend.

Recent months have often seen Sunny Colch High Street resemble something of a ghost town.

This ‘aint good.

It needs the bustle, it needs the old bloke who use to claim that:

“Saturday is Dinky Doughnut Day in Colchester.”

We BELIEVED him.

Every time.