A COUNCIL has admitted making a U-turn on controversial plans to prevent fruit and vegetable stalls setting up home in Station Street.
It comes as Burton’s Station Street market celebrates a year since it moved from the Market Place as part of plans to revamp the market hall.
However, the two original fruit and vegetable businesses were told they could not move to Station Street as it would be for ‘dry goods’ only.
It was only in July, this year, that East Staffordshire Borough Council asked one of those businesses whether they would like to trade in Station Street – an offer they had to decline after already setting up home in The Octagon shopping centre.
Wendy Newitt, who owned one of the businesses and is subsequently employed in the new shop, said: “If they had told us three months before, we would have probably moved but by that time we had already signed up for the shop. We could not sit in limbo waiting for the council to make up its mind.”
Councillor Liz Staples, deputy leader for corporate service, said: “While original plans were for the Station Street market to be dry goods only we quickly found that what customers and traders wanted was a diverse range of goods on offer. For this reason we have allowed non dry goods to be sold on the market.”
A spokesman for the borough council, added: “In July of this year the council spoke to Taylor’s Fruit and Vegetables (who were located outside the Market Hall) and invited them to trade at Station Street. This invitation was not taken any further by the trader.”
The council is now celebrating the market’s first year, claiming that for the first time in several years the outdoor market has a near to full occupancy on each market day and is fully booked with a waiting list into the New Year.
Councillor Staples added: “Anybody who has been to Station Street in the last few weeks cannot have failed to have been impressed by the quantity, diversity and quality of market stalls on offer.
“There have lots of new traders arriving in the past couple of weeks and because of the success they have been having they have signed up to become regular traders.
“There is a really positive feel to the market and a real good feel to the place at the minute which is great.”
Traders both old and new are also buoyant about the Station Street Market, with Jake who runs the Fruit and Veg stall, saying: “The attendants at Burton Market are the most accommodating, cheerful and hardworking people we have ever worked with. We are happy to be in such a friendly and cosy working environment.”