Uncertain future for Peterborough market after Northminster plans revealed

Market stallholders in Peterborough are facing an uncertain future after reportedly being told they be forced out following a proposed redevelopment of Northminster.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 1:06 pm

As revealed earlier today, plans are being submitted for 350 new homes at the city centre site, with the potential for hospitality and leisure also included.

The development of Northminster has been earmarked for many years, but Peterborough City Council has always promised that should there be no space to accommodate the existing market then it would be found a new home.

However, stallholders have told the Peterborough Telegraph they were informed during a meeting on Tuesday that this is no longer the case.

Phil Woodland, who owns Woodland Butchers Peterborough, which has been situated in the market for 37 years, said: “A year or so before the pandemic when they were due to knock down the multi-storey car park, there was a meeting with all market traders.

“The council bigwigs were there and said development was imminent for the market.

“They said the market’s going to be moved but they definitely want a market. They also promised to keep us informed with what’s going on.

“Up until Tuesday that was the only time we’ve had correspondence with the council.

“Now they’re not bothering to relocate us.

“I asked what the timescale is (before the market closes) and they said they don’t know.

“It’s a sorry old show for what was a really good market. We’ve been here 37 years. To see the decline is sad for Peterborough.

“For them not to want the market, I find that appalling.

“We get little old ladies who come in and rely on the market and we do deliveries to people who can’t come out.

“I said to the council ‘you’ve really stuffed up Peterborough. Not only have you lost John Lewis, you’ve got no shops to bring anybody into the centre’.

“The market was a hub for the community.”

Both Mr Woodland and Ben Camp, who works at sweet shop Peckish Peterborough, said there has not been a market manager in place for a long time.

Mr Camp told the PT following Tuesday’s meeting: “They said there’s going to be a public consultation but the market is not included (in the plans).

“If the public say they don’t want the market, the market’s gone. They want to take away people’s livelihoods who have been there 60 years plus to bring a garden in.

“Every customer we’ve spoken to wants the market.

“The council has markets in the middle of town which take away our trade. We get no marketing and there are no public toilets.

“But there’s a real community spirit in the market. We’re all together, but people are scared about what’s going to happen to their businesses.

“Every other market in every other city is indoors. The council has not put any money into ours. Do they even want it here?”

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “We have briefed City Market traders to make them aware of the potential new residential led development at Northminster which will occupy the land where the City Market is currently located, and the multi-storey car park previously stood.

“This area has been allocated for redevelopment since the adoption of the current Local Plan in 2019 and represents one of the next stages of the city’s regeneration.

“A planning application for the development of the Northminster site, led by the Peterborough Investment Partnership (PIP) is due to be submitted to Peterborough City Council later this year. If planning permission is secured, construction could begin in 2022.

“The city council is currently exploring future options for a market elsewhere in the city centre to complement the city centre retail and leisure offer long-term and as part of its broader regeneration plans for the city.

“All city markets traders will be invited to one-to-one meetings in the coming weeks.”

Peterborough Civic Society said: “The Civic Society is extremely disappointed that market stall holders appear not to have been fully consulted and hopes that agreeable alternatives can be made to ensure that Peterborough’s long tradition of market trading can be safeguarded.”

The Northminster development is being brought forward by the Peterborough Investment Partnership (PIP) - a joint venture between Peterborough City Council and investment specialists IAGH3.

PIP principal development manager Howard Bright said: “Our vision is to revitalise this underutilised part of the city and build on the changes it has seen over the last few years. We have already had success in this at Fletton Quays, where a once derelict site is now home to new residents, businesses and one of the few government hubs in the country.

“The redevelopment of Northminster is an opportunity to react to the changing face of our city centre, bringing a new identity for the local community and inviting a new residential community into this space.”

Further details about the scheme are available online at www.northminster-peterborough.co.uk – together with a survey which residents can complete to provide feedback.

Public webinars will also be held on Wednesday, June 9 and Monday, June 14 at 6pm, with a telephone surgery held on Friday, June 18.

Individuals are invited to register for the events by contacting the project team using the details below:

. Freephone: 0800 1583218

. FREEPOST PIP

The deadline for feedback is June 20.

Peterborough City Council has been approached for comment.

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