Markets on Market Square

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People are being asked to have their say on plans to create a “socially distanced” seating area in Lichfield city centre.

The propopals would see Market Square repurposed as businesses reopen with the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

But the change would mean city markets moving to a new location.

The proposals are part of a plan to help local pubs and restaurants who face having reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.

People are now being asked to give their views on the idea before a final decision is made.

A spokesperson for Lichfield City Council:

“Lichfield Place Board have requested we make the Market Square available for socially-distanced seating and relocate the Markets to Bird St car park.

“The city council would welcome your comments on this proposal.”

Lichfield City Council spokesperson

People can send their views to sarah.thomas@lichfield.gov.uk.

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36 Comments

  1. There is not enough parking in Lichfield as it is without reducing the Bird street parking area for the market. And does the market charter allow this . Who wants this any way I certainly don’t.

  2. Agree we need to keep the parking but actually an awful lot of people need this. Great idea I think to support those businesses that we love so much. This is what Lichfield is all about. Perhaps move the market around the pedestrian area like we do for the festivals?

  3. Can we not pedestrianise the city and use the streets for the market stalls leaving the car parking alone. I think it would give Lichfield more character and definitely make it a more enjoyable place to visit during the summer.

  4. Good to see residents opinions are sought.
    I do feel for the market traders as they seem to have to always move when anything is going on in the city.
    I don’t think having a market on a much needed car park is a great idea either.
    My feelings are to have market days as normal. Other days have tables for coffee, food etc.
    Due to almost ceartain lack of social distancing if Alcohol is served I suggest keeping that to evenings so shoppers are not at risk.
    Stay safe everybody.

  5. Fantastic idea. Due to restrictions people will order more drinks at each visit to the bar. Sit outside. Get drunk.

    See there is a 2 hour queue for the toilet.

    Create water features all over the city.

  6. As long as disabled parking continues through the city centre. Putting market stalls on the roads as someone suggests would ostracize those of us who need disability parking which happens everytime the centre is closed to traffic.
    Placing the market onto the carpark for a limited time with evaluation at regular intervals may be a way forward, allowing the market square to be used for distanced social gathering.

  7. Pedestrianise the centre of Lichfield and keep the market where it is. Put the tables outside the pubs and restaurants and leave the car park alive because people who are elderly and or disabled need it more.

  8. Don’t think the car park for market is a good idea as also need car parking.
    Options……
    Leave market where it is and use for eating/drinking on non-market days and evenings.
    Alternatively close off a couple of pedestrianised streets from traffic access on market days and let market stalls go up in these – or along precinct.

    What about using the Friary Green (opp Library) or Minster Pool Lawn for market stalls- or for food and drink seating (with some shelter over) ?????

  9. I have sat on the current benches for up to half an hour on occasions waiting for my wife, often on my own. Plenty of people crossing the square but very few bothering to sit down. Mind you they can be a little uncomfortable. Parking is more important to this city and possibly a Park n Ride scheme. More consideration for the shops and shoppers.

  10. I would love to know who instigated this. It’s a great reward for those market traders that worked to keep the folk of Lichfield supplied at great personal risk during the lockdown. It’s the Market square, always has been,and hopefully will remain so.

  11. I agree with the previous comment that the market should remain on the square on the three market days and utilised to support cafes and pubs on the other days and evenings. To move the market into a car park is a bizarre proposal.

  12. And how would the toilet situation span out. We don’t have enough public toilets in Lichfield as it is. People drinking are going to course a bigger need. Lining up social distancing within a pub of coffee shop isn’t going to work. Are we going to have to have lines of smelly porta loos all over Lichfield. What goes in must come out.

  13. Turning Market Square into a Beer Garden (without any pubs directly fronting the Square) seems a ridiculous idea; the market is the heart of Lichfield, LDC/LCC have grandiose plans for Bird Street car park (shades of Friarsgate) so let’s leave well alone, Lichfield is a Market Town/City not a “see if you can find the market in the car park town”. Too much working from home and Blue Sky Thinking on someone’s part.

  14. Leave the market alone let us keep some Lichfield history. At evening tłme the benches could be used in the square but who will be responsible for clearing up when the drinkers go home leaving their mess. Where will they go to toilet in the street I dread to think.

  15. Can we not just use the beer gardens provided within the establishments that cater for this and could actually use the money to keep their pubs afloat, ie Horse & Jockey, The Fountain, The Feathers etc etc and leave the town open for everyone to use not just the people who can’t contain drinking to at home, their own gardens or obviously wait for the pubs to be allowed back open. Just doesn’t seem fair on the local towns people who want to keep certain measures of safety for themselves in place won’t be able to walk through their own town, their is plenty of time to build on bringing tourists back to the area once this pandemic is properly resolved, and if the shops are open during this how will measures be kept in place with so many people around the town and if their shut then this won’t be helping any local trade businesses that need the help it will just be pocketing the council and commercial big chain pockets.

  16. Sounds like a Market during the day and drinking area during the evening is a good compromise. And really looking forward to a proper pint, to be honest

  17. Be brave, open the market as normal, allow people to congregate. If you do not want to go then don’t. Remember that here is no vaccine or cure for the common cold yet and the flue vaccine is fraught with inconsistencies and dangers. So boost your natural immunity system, get some fresh air and sunlight and congregate with other human beings and be normal. But it seems that the most sensible answer is always ignored.

  18. You will be turning a thriving and welcoming place, that supports independent businesses and supports the community, loves our community, into an empty bar area. It’s sad, shocking and probably not wanted by the majority, sad times Lichfield

  19. I have to agree with the many responses on disabled parking and the further lack of accessibility moving the market might cause. Using the market space for seating only when it is not a market day might be a nice idea, but would still need further consideration depending on restrictions, such as how distancing might affect the layout and therefore the capacity of the relatively small area.

  20. As parking is much needed in Lichfield centre as a short term measure to proect all interest might the council not consider taking over one or more of the retail units inevitably left vacant by a failed retailer as an indoor market to support all business interests in this difficult period.

  21. Completely agree that the market should stay on the square on market days. I feel it is a bad idea to turn the square into what will literally become a beer garden. I agree with a previous comment, no traffic and let the pubs/coffee shops have seating outside their premises.

  22. Keep the market where it is or we will lose it.why should they be constantly moved.A petition to keep the market where it is would be a good idea.Bars and restaurants do not need added costs to operate away from their premises.

  23. I like visiting small town markets. They are often vibrant and illustrate the culture and ethos of an area. I very much support our local market; it is important. Sadly the council seem to see it only in remuneration terms. Consequently the quality of stalls are not what they were. Like many heritage issues (Sheriff’s ride being the latest) the council seem little interested in preserving them.
    Leave the market where it is, in its time honoured position. The virus might be around some time. Any further diminution of the market and we might well see it disappear.

  24. This is an excellent idea.
    These kind of communal seating areas divided up by restaurant are commonplace across Europe as well as popular London areas such as Covent Garden and Brighton beachfront.
    It will bring life back to the square and give it a much more modern, lively and ‘continental’ feel as well as allowing the space required for the restaurant industry to reopen safely.
    To avoid encouraging antisocial problems it could be limited to food service (with drinks) rather than drinking only.
    I think it should be a permanent change.
    In my (probably unpopular) opinion the market is not an attractive sight, the shambolic collection of pasting tables with boxes of tat and rained on clothes does not become a modern city centre.
    Time to move forward.

  25. It was the markets that created the city centre. It is after all called a MARKET SQUARE. Great that the Council are for once looking to help our independent units but please do not punish the traders again. Far better idea is to make the city centre including Bird Street a pedestrian area, tables and chairs can then go on the ‘road’ surfaces and we do not have to worry about being run over by speeding and careless drivers, many of whom have no business being there now.

  26. I thought drinking alcohol in the city centre was illegal as the signs say. Who wants to visit the city to be harassed by a load of drunks.

  27. Most European towns and cities have street markets so it is obvious that Mike has not been to these places. When my lad lived in a Paris suburb every Saturday and Wednesday was market day and the streets shut to traffic. It was packed with people

  28. I think that like the majority the market should stay in the square.
    There is little left of Lichfield’s heritage left. Just remember as I was told as a youngster that Lichfield has MORE HISTORY AND HERITAGE than Stratford upon Avon. Is it not time we promoted that rather than destroying more old buildings (The Old Crown) and moving markets just for the sake of it. Apart from that who wants to sit in the rain looking at the NatWest. KEEP THE MARKET.

  29. Extra space for pubs and restaurants could be made available where possible, but ONLY on the pavements/pedestrianised streets/vacant premises which adjoin their existing establishments – the logistics of running a service in Market Square, which for most is a completely separate location, would be very tricky for the providers, and for the general public could easily result in unpleasant levels of intoxication, litter, noise, and smelly portaloos. Please keep Market Square for the Market on market days, and for individual citizens on other days.

  30. In parts of Europe the markets in the day time give way to restaurant seating in the evenings. So you get the best of both worlds. Look at Old Nice, for example. You can’t just sit and drink, you have to have a meal. We don’t have the same weather usually though so there would have to be awnings over the area.

  31. Any scheme which reduces the available parking spaces in Bird Street car park should be resisted. The car park is already fully used and any reduction will lead to more cars parking in and obstructing residential roads near the City centre. This is already a significant problem which should not be made any worse.

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