Peterborough market trader of 50 years to leave ‘due to Northminster car park demolition’

Param Singh at his stall in the market
Param Singh at his stall in the market
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A Peterborough market trader has said his family stall will be closing after nearly 50 years – after being told to shut up shop for the demolition of Northminster Car Park.

Param Singh has been running the Small World continental food stall at the market since 1988, when he took over from his dad, who set up the stall in 1971.

But Mr Singh said Peterborough City Council have now told him - and a number of other traders - to close their stalls in November, when work to demolish the car park will begin

He said: “We were given notice to vacate our stall a week ago. We were told we had to leave by November 4.

“We have been trading here for nearly 50 years. Trying to find a city centre spot is not easy. We have not been made aware of any suitable locations to relocate.

“We have been told we can have an empty stall in the market after November 4 so we can sell our remaining stock.

“We have also been told there will be a financial package for us, although we don’t know what it will be. The market has been my life - it is not as if my business is failing.”

The council announced the car park would have to be demolished earlier this year, following safety concerns.

A city council spokeswoman said: “We expect the works associated with this to begin mid-November and to last up to six months.

“The professional advice we have received so far is that there will need to be a safety zone around the car park building in the interests of public safety, which includes ten market stalls.

“As a result we are in the process of talking to the stallholders whose stalls fall within this zone about whether they would like to work with us to find an alternative site for their stall, either on the market or elsewhere in the city centre, or would like to cease trading and be compensated.

“The feedback we have received so far is a mix of the two options and we are now working on proposals for each trader. Mr Singh has been offered the chance to relocate for the duration of the works or to take compensation. In addition, we have notified the occupants of each of the nine shop units that they will need to vacate by 11 October. Again, we have offered to help the shops to find alternative locations or to agree compensation.

“We wish we did not have to ask the shop units to leave and to inconvenience the market traders in this way, but given the condition of the car park and the risk to the public if we do not demolish, we have no alternative but to deconstruct the car park as quickly as possible.”