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Dereham market 'one step away' from home

PUBLISHED: 10:33 26 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:58 07 July 2010

Dereham's market is just one step away from being officially back in its rightful home, the town council has said.

Town clerk Tony Needham said they had definite clearance from the police and were just waiting for a response from the county council's highways department to provide the legal paperwork to allow the traders to stay in the town's Market Place.

Dereham's market is just one step away from being officially back in its rightful home, the town council has said.

Town clerk Tony Needham said they had definite clearance from the police and were just waiting for a response from the county council's highways department to provide the legal paperwork to allow the traders to stay in the town's Market Place.

“We intend to carry on here and highways are happy that we carry on until the legal team gives us the confirmation,” he said.

The market moved back into the Market Place last December for a trial period. It had been in the Cowper Road car park behind the town's main shopping thoroughfares for 20 years after road improvements forced them to move from the Market Place.

But thanks to the town council finding case law from the 1800s which established that it had more right to the land on the Market Place than traffic the market looks set to stay in its traditional home.

As an interim measure the market will still have to contend with buses turning round in the Market Place until plans for a proposed 150,000 bus interchange are finalised.

A county council spokesman said: “Norfolk County Council is currently considering whether or not a new Traffic Regulation Order is required prior to the permanent move taking place. A decision on this matter is expected in the near future.

“We have allocated funding to progress the bus interchange scheme in the next financial year but will have to go through design, consultation and value for money processes before any final decisions can be made.”

The traders themselves are keen to stay in their new pitches with one saying that takings had tripled in the weeks since the move back.

Pat Snowie, who works for Norfolk Pie Man Tony Mattocks, said it had made a “phenomenal” difference being back in the traditional place.

“I would say we are doing three times the trade than in Cowper Road,” she said. “It has been really good and I am getting new customers every week as well as the regulars. I have even done well today even though the weather has been awful.”

Other traders are also reporting an increase in sales.

Richard Sizeland, who is one of the longest trading stall-holders with his fruit and vegetable stall, said sales were up and they were happy to be back.

“I haven't done the figures but it is better here,” he said.

Mr Needham said that the farmers' market, which is held on the second Saturday of the month, may have closed if they had not been able to move to the Market Place.

“It became clear in October that if we could no do something the market would have folded after Christmas. But now we have picked up some new stallholders including cheese, chilli peppers and fish.”

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