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Leading professor and market stallholders add their objections to proposed £250,000 town centre development

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 January 2017

Where the £250,000 Market House development is proposed to be built. Picture: David Church.

Where the £250,000 Market House development is proposed to be built. Picture: David Church.

Archant

A medieval England expert and market traders are the latest to come forward and raise objections to a proposed major regeneration project.

Artist impression of what the market building in Market Place will look like.Artist impression of what the market building in Market Place will look like.

It comes after Havering Council submitted plans for a £250,000 Market House building, which will be funded by Transport for London (TfL).

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

But the council is facing heavy opposition from many concerned about the economical and environmental impact.

Professor Jim Bolton, a Romford resident, is an esteemed author on all things medieval and has also carried out research on histories of the people on the war memorial in St Edward’s Church.

He believes that Market Place is key to remembering the town’s heritage.

“It reminds us constantly of our heritage,” he said.

“Market Place also acts as a lung for a busy and crowded town centre, an open area in which piecemeal development should not be allowed.

“If accepted, it will destroy the unity of the medieval market place; compromise the view of the parish church of St Edward the Confessor, the trees in the graveyard and the late-fifteenth century frontage of Church House.”

Mr Bolton also believes that a dangerous precedent could be set should the project go ahead.

“Once a precedent has been set, other planning applications and buildings will surely follow,” he said.

“There has already been far too much haphazard development in Romford, creating a townscape with no sense of the town’s history.

Caron Webb, who has ran the children and baby wear stall in the market for 20 years, claims not one trader is in favour of the plans.

“We understand something needs to be done going forward to improve the market but please spend the money a bit better.

“The council have held a few meetings with us but no one feels like they are listened to.

“They only seem interested in lining their own pockets, rather than helping us.”

The Romford trader has expressed her desire for a cover across the centre of the market which would provide customers a “more enjoyable shopping experience” during bad weather but she doesn’t remain hopeful.

“I cannot believe the council is planning on constructing any sort of building on the market plain,” Mrs Webb said.

“It really frightens me and saddens me that the council can put forward this plan for anywhere in the market.”

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


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