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Approval to move centuries old market

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

WOODBRIDGE market traders are waiting for the final approval before they can move their stalls to a town centre location and keep alive a tradition dating back to the 13th Century.

WOODBRIDGE market traders are waiting for the final approval before they can move their stalls to a town centre location and keep alive a tradition dating back to the 13th Century.

The town council's planning committee has unanimously agreed to proposals to move the market away from the Market Square in front of the Shire Hall and onto a district council car park off the Thoroughfare.

Revenue will be lost by the council when the Thursday open-air market leaves its present site but planning chairman Cliff Cocker said: ''We must encourage the market and I wish them all success on their new site.''

The market is moving because changes in shopping patterns have led to customers deserting the market and the majority of people now shop in the Thoroughfare.

However, the new location is close to houses and the district council's environmental health department is concerned that the setting up of stalls will be too noisy for sleeping residents.

A survey undertaken by town and district councillor Nigel Barratt showed that most markets in Suffolk including Framlingham, Saxmundham, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill started at 6am. Stowmarket began at 7am and the earliest stall holder at Hadleigh operated from 4.30am.

Mr Barratt said: ''The market traders want to be as co-operative as possible, and determined to save and build the market. They are in discussion with other traders, some of whom used to operate at Woodbridge, and have had several expressions of interest in joining in. They are seriously considering putting some of their own money out on a budget for advertising, particularly for the move.''

In Ipswich greengrocers start at 1am and in Hadleigh the market is only 10-feet away from flats and houses. Woodbridge's 40-foot long fruit and vegetable stall requires 75 minutes for unloading a lorry, 45 minutes to erect the stall and sheets and 90 minutes to set out the 100 different products.

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