08:00 Wednesday 07 November 2012

Optician fears market plans are short-sighted

Written byHELEN KREFT

AN optician in Burton which will soon be neighbours with the town’s outdoor market said it was worried new stalls would damage the business.

Lancaster & Thorpe fears new market stalls in Station Street will affect trade by blocking its frontage.
Lancaster & Thorpe fears new market stalls in Station Street will affect trade by blocking its frontage.

Lancaster & Thorpe, in Station Street, said three posts had been sunk into the ground right outside the store, which staff believe will be for three new stalls — thus blocking the public’s view of its frontage.

However, East Staffordshire Borough Council claimed that existing businesses would benefit from the increased footfall provided by the market.

Sue Eyre, manager at the Burton branch of Lancaster & Thorpe, said she had a lot of questions and concerns over the borough council’s decision to move the outdoor market from Market Place to Station Street.

She said: “There has been no communication from the council, no invitation to look at plans, and now they are putting posts sunk into the ground.

“There are three posts in a row right outside our shop, which could mean three stalls, so people coming from Coopers Square shopping centre won’t be able to see us.

“We moved from High Street to Station Street and we could be seen by people from the shopping centre, but when these three big stalls are put there we won’t be seen.

“Many businesses here rely on passing trade.“We don’t know whether we will have to remove our advertising boards from outside either.

“Shops the other side can’t have these boards because they need to make way for emergency vehicles, and there could be problems with deliveries for those who don’t have back doors (if they can’t make deliveries at the front).

“We have a lot of questions and worries.”

A council spokesman said: “The stalls are located off-centre down Station Street. At no point will three stalls be joined together.

“We would expect that additional footfall generated by the market on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will benefit the businesses on Station Street.”

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