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Join fight to rescue market

PUBLISHED: 19:37 23 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

ON a day when scores of Ipswich shoppers are heading along the A14 to shop at Bury St. Edmunds, The Evening Star is today launching a campaign to save Ipswich market.

ON a day when scores of Ipswich shoppers are heading along the A14 to shop at Bury St. Edmunds, The Evening Star is today launching a campaign to save Ipswich market.

With just nine stalls left – down from 74 in 1984 – stall holders in Ipswich warn that the town's market has just weeks to live.

The market has suffered from decades of dithering and uncertainty – and for many stall holders it has now reached the end of the road.

The council has now decided to extend the lease of the current co-operative that runs the market – but it has been told by legal experts that the market cannot move elsewhere in the town.

"We don't actually control as much of the Cornhill as people think we do," said economic development spokesman Philip Smart.

"We've been told that we can't allow market stalls to block the highway, and much of the Cornhill is designated as highway.

"Stalls can only be put up on roads when they've had their rights there established in history – and they've been using the road uninterupted over that time.

"That prevents the market from using roads like Tavern Street, the top of Princes Street, or Lloyds Avenue," he said.

It's an argument that doesn't go down well with stallholders.

"In Colchester the market was moved from a street to a square, and when that was unsuccessful it went back to another street – there was no problem there so far as I know," said market trader Mike Young.

Stallholders believe that the council has been employing delaying tactics.

"They are very nice and seem to listen to us when we talk to them – but there's never any action," said Mr Young, who is chairman of the co-operative currently running the market.

"The problem isn't who's running the market – it's where it is."

The council had an application to move the market to the Cornhill which was considered by planners in October.

Planning officers said that such a move could be possible if strict conditions were met.

However the development control committee was unable to make a decision and it was deferred – it hasn't come back to the council since.

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