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£250k Romford town centre development will ‘entice more people to shop’

PUBLISHED: 10:44 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:32 13 January 2017

An artist’s impression of the view of St Edward’s Church and the new Market House from the eastern end of the Market Place.

An artist’s impression of the view of St Edward’s Church and the new Market House from the eastern end of the Market Place.

Archant

A £250,000 town centre project will act as a “focal point” and be a major part of bringing back Romford Market to the heart of the community.

View of how Market House would look from the western end of the Market Place.View of how Market House would look from the western end of the Market Place.

That is the view of Havering Council after it submitted plans for a Market House building, which will be funded by Transport for London (TfL).

The building would house a restaurant with a roof terrace for customers.

Next month, the proposal will go to the council’s regulatory services committee for approval following a year-long programme of consultations.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, said: “Based upon advice we received from those operating successful markets around the country, it was decided that a key ingredient in regenerating Romford Market and Market Place should be the permanent provision of a quality catering offer to act as a draw and as a focal point within the town, to complement existing businesses.

“Throughout the consultation process, the approach of our team has been to respond positively to responses from local residents and others and, where practicable, amend the proposals to address concerns.”

Many market traders and Romford and District Historical Society have voiced their disapproval since plans were revealed but stallholder Perry White says his mind has been changed.

He said: “We need to support change.

“I was against the idea of a Market House until I went along to the exhibition in The Liberty Centre and that turned my thoughts around.”

Jonathan Poole, chairman of the Romford Town Management Partnership and centre manager of The Liberty Shopping Centre said: “I’m fully behind this proposal. Romford has a strong retail mix, therefore we need an improved Romford Market which complements the overall Romford offer, to entice more people to shop and spend their leisure time in the centre of our town.”

The proposal is part of a £220m London-wide project funded by TfL to improve transport, town centre and public space improvements.

Havering is due to receive £2.3m with £250,000 for Market Place and the building.

As well as cafe and restaurant facilities the building will contain a trader room providing facilities to market traders.

Residents can have their say by contacting the council at planning@havering.gov.uk

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