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Plans for £250,000 town centre Market House faces big opposition

PUBLISHED: 09:02 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:02 19 December 2016

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.

Archant

A proposed major regeneration project within Romford town centre is facing heavy opposition from business owners, market traders and various societies.

Graphic to show the visual impact of the £250,000 proposed development.Graphic to show the visual impact of the £250,000 proposed development.

Havering Council has 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.

It’s 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 a new market building.

Work will also include re-paving, tree planting and the introduction of play equipment for children.

But many believe the building would have a detrimental impact on local business and the quality of the environment.

Trevor Vale, owner of Uppercut Hair Group, would be directly affected with his Romford store positioned behind the proposed building.

The hairdressing owner has recalled the shock when he first saw the plans.

“I was in total disbelief,” Mr Vale said.

“I could not believe the council were planning to put something that big in the central position of the market.

“I believe 50 per cent of our trade will be affected should it go ahead as no one would be able to see the shop.”

The owner insists he is in favour of regeneration in the town centre but believes vacant shops should be looked at first.

Mr Vale said: “I am completely for regeneration and I think the idea is great but the proposed building should be re-sited.

“I can’t understand why the council has not considered using one of the empty shop units, an example is the previously owned Littlewoods store which has stood empty for years.”

Andrew Curtin, chair of Romford Civic Society, claims the historical and environmental impact would be huge.

He said: “We are opposed to the council’s plans to construct a building in the Market, directly in front of Church House, a listed building constructed in about 1480.

“Church House has been an important and attractive part of the environment of Romford Market for over 500 years.

“The view of Church House, and the fine ensemble which it makes with neighbouring St. Edward’s Church, has never been blocked, and many people feel it is one of the most attractive views left in the middle of the town.”

Vivien Saxby, of Romford’s Historical Society, has also slammed the £250,000 project.

She said: “I am personally appalled at such a proposal and it certainly would seem that trying to push this through when people are very occupied with all the goings ons of the Christmas period which does not normally allow full consideration for something as important as this.”

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


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