Bromsgrove's 'widening' market slammed for blocking High Street

By Tristan Harris Friday 11 January 2013 Updated: 15/01 12:48

A BROMSGROVE business owner has hit out at some market stalls, which he claims are growing wider by the week, encroaching on the High Street and making it difficult for shoppers to walk through the town centre.

Bromsgrove Cobbler Martin Connellan contacted The Standard after he received complaints from his customers.

He said: “They have been saying that it’s more like a glorified boot sale than a market - it’s all over the place.”

He also criticised the market traders for having their vehicles on the High Street between 10.30am and 4pm when it is supposed to be a vehicle-free pedestrianised zone and he slammed the positioning of some of the stalls.

“There are card shops on the High Street with card stalls outside, outdoor clothing shops with outdoor clothing stalls outside and the same with handbags and accessories.

“We all want the market - it’s good for the town, but I don’t feel it is being managed properly,” he added.

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “While we wait for a redesigned Bromsgrove High Street, which is set to include permanent fixings for a new-look market, we are generally delighted with how our growing numbers of stall holders choose to present their fresh produce, clothes, books, household essentials and more.

“We will continue to monitor the situation but feedback from the public has been good and visitor numbers to the High Street are strong.”

On the position of the market stalls, the authority’s executive director for regeneration, John Staniland, said: “We have a responsibility to all traders, shop or market based, and will always try to resolve any conflicts of interest.

“Clearly shopkeepers are the lifeblood of town centres and their viability should not be affected.

“We’re always happy to discuss options in conversation with all parties, and in the past we have tried to find outcomes that benefit everybody.”

He added the pending redesign of the High Street was a great opportunity to re-establish the growing market as part of the transformation of the town centre.

“It’s something we’re actively looking at,” he added.

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