BULLDOZERS have moved in to tear down the historic units which were introduced 80-years-ago to the front of Burton’s market hall.
The stalls, which once held the fruit and vegetable businesses AJ Taylors and Woods Fruit and Veg, are being demolished to make way for £1.54 million plans to revamp the ailing market hall in a bid to stop declining footfall.
While AJ Taylors has now set up home in The Octagon shopping centre near Iceland, after spending 14 years housed in the brick buildings outside the market hall, Wendy Newitt was forced to close down Woods Fruit and Veg earlier last month as she could not afford to set up again.
She said of the move: ”I am gutted. I cannot believe my business is going. It has been a family business since 1921 and I have been here 37 years.
It is very sad because in just eight years we would have been 100-years-old and I have always wanted to achieve that.”
Stephen Hinds, the former head of finance at East Staffordshire Borough Council said bulldozing the two stalls outside the hall would ‘open the front of the hall, creating improved accessibility and allowing for the facade to be better seen’.
He added: “The existing buildings are in a bad condition and are a relative eyesore.
“By demolishing these buildings accessibility and vista will be greatly improved “We will also be able to increase access to disabled parking.”
Last year, both stallholders were told by the council they could not move to Station Street with the outdoor traders as it was for dry goods only and they could not move to the first floor of the Octagon shopping centre with the indoor traders as it was not viable for them.
The hall will be turned into a pop-up market with cafes and night time entertainment.
Existing shops which front onto Market Place will be refurbished for catering and restaurants and the upper floor will become a new dining and bar area. Seating and a demountable stage will be provided for entertainment uses.