Markets on Market Square

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A residents’ group has said proposals to move Lichfield’s market to a car park could pose issues with parking on nearby streets.

Lichfield Place Board has put forward the plan to turn Market Square into a seating area for local bars and restaurants to help cope with reduced capacity in premises because of coronavirus social distancing rules.

It would mean the market moving to the Bird Street car park to make way for the new facility.

But a spokesperson for Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association said it had concerns over the knock-on effect of such a move – as well as the precedent it could set.

“Parking on Beacon Street and neighbouring roads is difficult at the best of times, and we are very concerned that the loss of car parking spaces at Bird Street will force more cars to park on largely residential streets in this area and worsen an already bad situation.

“If the proposal does go ahead, traffic should be restricted from entering the Market Square, and the part of the Bird Street car park used for the market should be fenced off from the rest of the car park. 

“The temporary change of use of Bird Street car park in these extremely unusual times should not constitute a precedent for any subsequent redevelopment.”

Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association spokesperson

One stallholder has already criticised the plan, saying that market traders were being penalised in order for other businesses to be helped.

BSARA said its members had differing views about whether the scheme should go ahead – but that overall the organisation were not in favour of moving the market.

“We recognise the need to support local bars and restaurants during this very difficult time, and, although some members were in favour, we have serious concerns about the proposal.

“The market traders will again be disrupted from their usual routine, with risk to their businesses.

“Several of our members felt that the market represented a special part of the character of Lichfield and were very unhappy that the traders were obliged to move again. 

“We believe the market traders are also being consulted and we support their wishes being fully taken into account.

“If the proposal does go ahead, we would expect the businesses using the space to ensure the appropriate social distancing, both in queues and in the seating itself. 

“If customers are not intended to use business’s own bathroom facilities, then portable toilets should be provided. 

“We are concerned about an increase in anti-social behaviour and believe a stronger police presence in the area would also be needed.”

Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association spokesperson

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39 Comments

  1. Nice to see an innovative scheme is being met with such positivity. Oh, it’s not. We are trying to get our basic services up and running, help actual permanent businesses not all go bust and we are already calling people potential drunks and whinging about parking. Didn’t notice problems in cafes before, but we can raise ‘concerns’ now. Thanks ‘concerned residents’ and unnamed market trader. You have a better option? Just shut all the bars and restaurants permanently? Do you realise that the world has changes?

  2. Before lockdown David J you did not have to queue to go into Nat West or the other banks, or into the chemist or fast food outlet. Now you do so they will mingle with Lichfields drunks

  3. ML Before lockdown we had restaurants and bars….. Do you have a sound alternative to prevent half the town centre businesses going bankrupt? Not really seen a drunk during the day here, not my Lichfield.

  4. The proposal would cheapen and spoil the whole ethos of our beautiful city. It has been the presence of the vegetables stall during the lockdown that has supported many vulnerable people. Do we really want to see such a beautiful square reduced to noise, litter and porta loos.

  5. And what planet are you councillors on ? Lichfield market as been inLichfield for 800 years are you allowed just to please a few drunks and is it necessary for a few to be drinking alcohol all day! Parking is already a premium and moving it to the few parking spaces left is ridiculous we are already losing the bus station car park for how ever long that takes it’s a great pity you have all been given another twelve months to continue your already mess that you are causing V. R

  6. Hi Valerie, I’ve not seen details of the proposals, particularly around them looking to do this all day as you say.

    Can you send me the link to this, or direct me to where I can read it?

  7. Just going through my mind and if I am correct the only pubs in the city centre that have zero outdoor space are Beerbohm and the Whippet. Why can they not have some seating outside on the road, still leaving the pavements clear for pedestrians and part of the road kept clear for emergency vehicles. The pubs that have outdoor space can use that. This limits the amount of people on the streets drinking.
    Not sure how many restaurants have a lack of outdoor space but could they not do similar.
    Why is everyone suggesting Lichfield would be full of drunks? There are a lot of mature and responsible people that don’t drink to get drunk but to enjoy the experience along with great conversation. Yes there is that element but as we know, it is illegal to serve someone who intoxicated and this is where the responsibility lies with the licensee and their staff.
    It works In other countries why not in Lichfield.
    The market stall holders could still drive to the market and unload before the pubs open. Then if there is space for emergency vehicles then the market stall holders can also get past to load up at the end of their day.

  8. I think there are far to many pubs in lichfield I think they should leave markets where they are a lot of trade they. they bring to the city

  9. Why are the opponents of this scheme assuming that this is a facility for drunks? Do they think everybody who has a drink loses control immediately – they need to get out more (whilst socially distancing themselves, obviously). It is quite likely that these scary drunks will only come out at night, long after the sober vegetable enthusiasts are back home drinking their cocoa. There will still be a market, just not in the same location, I’m sure it will continue to sell vegetables, although there are alternative greengrocers available nearby if Bird St car park is a problem. As for parking, no-one should park inconsiderately or irresponsibly; that should be policed and enforced, but BSARA need to change the record, this is their response to everything.

  10. As the consumption of alcohol is known to cause health and social issues, any responsible council should be discouraging its use not promoting it. Leave the drunks in the pubs, if there’s not enough room there should be fewer of them.

  11. Wendy it works in other countries because they have a different drinking culture.You can sit in a French bar/cafe for 3 hours with one beer or coffee try doing that in the UK

  12. I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not, I can see pros and cons.

    But I’d just like to add my voice to the few on here who understand that it is possible to get drunk without going to a pub/bar, and that it’s possible to go to a pub/bar and not get drunk.

    We appear to be getting overwhelmed with puritans.

  13. The Drum is the only pub I know that faces the market square, & they have the arches which could be roped off to provide extra seating. I don’t want to see the market shunted to a car park that’s already popular & difficult to get onto for the sake of providing extra tables for people go sit out all day drinking & potentially causing an even bigger problem. Over the weekend, we saw how an inch becomes a mile at beaches in various places. Where do counsellors expect all the collective socially distanced queues from the banks & businesses already there to go? Unless you pedestrianise that section except for emergency vehicles, it’s a No from me.

  14. Bad idea l do not want to go shopping in my town . What about the library ,lichfield council are not thinking only financial side to them, dont forget residents matter to.

  15. Asellus aquaticus not puritans it is the UK drinking culture, yes put tables and chairs out and I will become a European and sit with my glass of beer or wine or coffee for 2 hours chatting and generally watching the world go by. That will cause a riot

  16. Don’t understand the opposition to this. The market is only in Lichfield a couple of days a week and has plenty of other possible locations in order to make a living both inside and outside of Lichfield. Fixed site bars pubs cafes etc contribute far more to the local economy and don’t have this luxury. Many need this as a lifeline to simply exist in a new socially distanced world. Cannot believe the selfishness of some market traders kicking up such a fuss about being asked to move a couple of hundred yards around the corner simply to help other businesses survive.

  17. I am not a puritan and I too can see the benefit of this.

    If this means a group of people, queuing patiently for their drinks, it makes sense.

    I do have a few questions.

    Who will manage this? If people go to the pub. Who will make sure they go to the seated area and not just sit on benches outside B&M?

    How will the bars and restaurant know if the area is full or has spaces?

    Who will decide, if there is a table available, which venue can then provide the food or drinks?

    Do you get your table first and then get your drinks?

    Will there be a time limit? Can people arrive at 10am and stay until 10pm at the same table?

    Toilets, where will they be?

    My biggest question. Who will pay for this? I am assuming the council tax payer, will be paying for the upkeep and maintenance of the site. Paying to provide the staff to manage customers, security if there is trouble, toilets, cleaning, ……. It does seem a lot of money will be spent on this.

    As there seems to be evidence that Covid-19 can be spread in urine. If people decide to use the city as a toilet. Who will clean and manage these incidents?

  18. As I said we do not have the European mentality to drink, When my son was living in a Paris suberb twice a week the main street and several side streets were shut for a Market and it was heaving with shoppers, but it was a proper market with a stall selling shell fish and another cheese. Lichfield market does have a lot of rubbish on sale but presumably people buy it or it would not be sold.
    leave the market where it is and put the drinking area on the car park or remove all the hoardings on Friargate and make that a giant pub

  19. It works very well in places like France because it is part of the culture.
    The drinking culture in this country is not as “sophisticated”.
    So for those of us in the city who dislike loud, boarish conversations, lewd jokes, screeching laughter and slovenly appearances, not to mention who feel intimidated by large groups of young people forcing their own forms of “enjoyment” on others in a very overwhelming way, the centre of Lichfield will become a no-go area.

  20. I’m not sure the idea of going for a glass of beer on a car park is as appealing as doing so in an ancient market square with lovely buildings around it.

    The daftest bit is people assuming this will be 7 nights a week. There is no significant midweek drinking scene in Lichfield, it’s more of a dining town in the week.

  21. OK, so, you move the market and put lots of seats and benches in the “market square”. Not only would the folks with drinks use them, but also folks coming out of Maccies,, Gregg’s etc. How many litter bins will be provided and how many folks will use them ? Think back to the food festival and the state of the streets after. It was disgusting and the council cleaners did a wonderful job of clearing up, but that was only for a weekend. What’s it going to look like and how much is it going to clear it all up again. Massive shame to see a popular tourist spot spoilt by so much litter.

  22. How come then is there restaurant/ pubs offering 2 hour meals and drink as much cheap Italian fix as you can in that two hours

  23. What an idiotic idea, turning our market square into a beer garden. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, we do get visitors to our city. What sort of a greeting would it be to see a square full of drinkers and of course some to excess, plus who is going to clear up the debry after everyone has gone at whatever time of night they go and who will foot the bill for the clear up? Not the council tax payers, or will they? Your guess is as good as mine.

  24. The stall holders of the market have to pay for their stall and pitch for every day they are one the market. Are the pubs, cafes,etc going to do the same? I don’t think so. Last time the market was moved, quite a few of the stall holders lost their trade, their livelihoods. As has already been mentioned the market has been there for 800 years. A long tradition. People come into Lichfield for the market, they know exactly where to go. Move the market, and they will loose trade. Put the chairs and tables in Bird street car
    Park, where there are toilets already available. Leave the market where it is. Why penalize them every time someone comes up with a new scheme. Why should the market people be shoved around. There is also a law that the market place is for the markets not for the pubs and caffees.

  25. Hi CJB, Where is the legislation about the market square not being available for any other use? Can you send me a link, or details where I can see it? Thanks.

  26. C.J.B “ The stall holders of the market have to pay for their stall and pitch for every day they are one the market. Are the pubs, cafes,etc going to do the same? I don’t think so”

    Oh come on mate – you’re being ridiculous now!! The pubs and cafes pay rent, mortgage and business rates. They also pay whether they’re open or closed too. Do market traders??

    No…..didn’t think so.

    You may want to think about that.

  27. So for those of us in the city who dislike loud, boarish conversations, lewd jokes, screeching laughter and slovenly appearances, not to mention who feel intimidated by large groups of young people forcing their own forms of “enjoyment” on others in a very overwhelming way“

    Heaven forbid we should become a Mecca for laughter and casual attire Barry…..

    Do you have any sense of enjoyment in you??

  28. Miles most of the pubs in Lichfield prior to Covid hardly shut Spoons opened 9 AM others stay open until the early hours so will this new drinking establishment called Lichfield Market Square have a time limit or be open all hours

  29. ML – I don’t know what the hours will be (how would I?), I’m merely making a valid point to what was an absurd reaction.

  30. Miles – yes, I know how to enjoy myself. I just don’t feel the need to make a song and dance about it so that everyone within earshot knows it. I also don’t believe that everyone needs to know just how much fun I am having. Its called common courtesy and having consideration for others.

    You no doubt find yourself hugely entertaining all of the time. You probably like to try and rope everyone into your fun, whether they want to or not and if they refuse tell them to “cheer up it might not happen”. You probably feel yourself to be a good bloke and the life and soul of any gathering.
    You are not. You are ignorant, obnoxious and the perfect example of why this is a bad idea for the silent majority.

  31. Sorry Barry, singling our people who choose not dress the same as you, is neither courteous nor considerate. It is ignorant and obnoxious.

    Funny that.

  32. Barry – this is just a hunch but, I’m guessing you probably don’t get asked to parties very much?? Lol! All that music and people laughing above conversation level….and those clothes..!! My oh my….

    You are funny.

  33. “Young people are welcome to Lichfield however, please do not laugh too loud, or have a good time. Please also remember to wear formal clothing at all times as this upsets the local nutter!!”.

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