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Woodbridge market traders celebrating

PUBLISHED: 11:16 08 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 March 2010

MARKET traders are celebrating today after being given approval to move their open-air stalls to a more central location in an effort to generate extra business.

MARKET traders are celebrating today after being given approval to move their open-air stalls to a more central location in an effort to generate extra business.

The Thursday Market in Woodbridge has suffered in recent years from a dramatic downturn in trade, leading to just a handful of stalls operating from the ancient site on Market Hill.

Traders warned the market would close if it could not move, but yesterday district councillors passed plans for it to be held in a public car park behind the public toilets off the Thoroughfare.

Greengrocer Melvin Murton said: ''This is a good move. We have been trying to make it happen for about 18 months and now we are glad that we have approval.

"Today there are six stalls and there have been promises that if we go into the centre of the town more stallholders will return.''

Suffolk Coastal said stalls can only be set up from 6am at the site and they will monitor this for 12 months.

But Mr Murton had hoped for an earlier start as it takes him 210 minutes to unload his lorry, erect the 40ft long stall and display 100 different products.

''This timing is hard and I suppose we will have to work even harder to open early. We will have to see how things go,'' he said.

Environmental health officers and residents were worried by the possible sleep disturbance from an early start in a car park close to houses and flats.

There were also objections from Woodbridge Society and businesses about the move away from the traditional market site on Market Hill which has been used since the 13th Century.

Shopkeepers complained traders on the Market Hill would lose business on a Thursday, and the loss of car parking spaces near the Thoroughfare would discourage shoppers. Four other sites were rejected for a variety of reasons.

Early morning noise is an issue at some Suffolk markets and a report for yesterday's development control sub-committee said: ''Investigation of noise complaints relating to both Felixstowe and Saxmundham markets has indicated that the setting up of the market produces significant levels of impact noise, mainly from the unloading, movement and assembly of the stalls themselves.

''It would be fair to say that, in both of these instances, the traders exercise care in the setting up to minimise noise emissions.''

Some homes in the new Woodbridge location have first floor windows within seven metres of the car park boundary.

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