Anger over market layout proposals

MDL100123B6 - Ilkeston Market Place
MDL100123B6 - Ilkeston Market Place

MARKET traders are furious at proposals which could see stalls moved to new locations in Ilkeston Market Place – including on a steep slope.

The plans are in response to traders’ anger at Erewash Borough Council’s order that they can no longer park their vans behind their pitches, despite having done so for years.

Now, after the authority’s head of planning Steve Birkinshaw discussed the issue with traders earlier this month, they have been asked what they think of the plan to move seven stalls in front of the public toilets at the top of Bath Street and nine stalls along the churchyard wall to the right of the toilet block.

One trader, who has worked on the market for nearly 50 years, said the proposal was ‘ridiculous’ and would drive customers away.

“Many years ago they put us there,” said the trader, who did not want to be named.

“And the wind came howling up Bath Street and ripped the stalls down.

“It was so bad they had to move us back to where we are now.

“Common sense tells you this is a ridiculous plan.”

Cllr Frank Phillips, whose ward covers the Market Place, agreed with the traders.

“This is the daftest and most dangerous idea the council has come up with in a long time,” he said.

“If you have a fruit and veg stall, for instance, all your produce is going to end up rolling on to the floor.”

He said it also poses problems for wheelchair users who would be unable to stop at the stalls because of the incline.

Market traders are being asked to let the council know what they think about the plans by Wednesday June 6. Mr Birkinshaw said in his letter to traders that he would like to see the new configuration in place by Thursday June 14.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We are listening to all the thoughts and ideas of traders. Once the consultation is complete we will review the situation.”