Market Rasen Market Place future under discussion

Concerns have been raised over the future of Market Rasen market place by residents and business owners.

Residents and business owners turned out to have their say EMN-211116-110216001

At a public meeting last week they aired their views as to whether the area should be a car park, social area or a mixture of both.

The market place is owned by the Nettleship family and leased by the town council.

As previously reported, that lease runs out in a year’s time and the council has now applied for a loan to purchase the market place.

Different areas of the market place have been sectioned off to see what works bestEMN-211116-133655001

At present, the market place is available for free parking, however, this has caused issues when markets are being held and all cars are not cleared in time.

But for market place business owners and residents, they feel parking should be allowed at all times - and some say this was ‘guaranteed’ by their landlord.

Council chairman and town mayor Stephen Bunney told the meeting: “We have consulted in the past and two extremes have come forward - no cars and just market; no market and just parking.”

Coun Bunney also said the town council is hoping to make a decision on its use at the December meeting.

He continued: “We will be looking at the se of the market place for the next three or so years, not its full time length.

“We are listening to what people want ahead of the decision and to help with that we have been using barriers to try different layout and get feedback - but these are only temporary.”

Local business owners were split on the potential lack of car parking spaces.

The owners of a new vet nursing college, Rase Vets, which will occupy one of the former bank buildings, was in support of changes.

She said: “We would be very happy to pay a certain amount for parking.

“We would like to see it used as a market place and we have already sought alternative parking.”

In contrast, the owner of Luca Vets on the corner of the market place has concerns over parking for his clients and in particular emergencies to his practice.

He said: “The closing of the car parking all the time would affect our business.

“I can understand it for a time - a day or a couple of days - but why can’t it be both together.

“However, we would like to have just a space in the corner [near the building] just for emergency cases.”

Councillor Bunney confirmed that the need to drop off at shops for deliveries and emergency use would be in the deliberations, as other businesses are affected in the same way.

Previous suggestions have been made for the creation of an outdoor eating area and this is something that was welcomed by one resident.

She said: “Is it a town car park or a town square?

“It is a beautiful square, with the church behind and it is destroyed by the parking .

“I am sorry for the businesses there, but the square was there long before the businesses and it is the people’s square not just for businesses - it belongs to all of us and we would like to see it as somewhere beautiful that we can be proud of.”

A number of people supported this view, but others felt a mixed use would benefit all.

Coun Bunney said: “We will note all the comments made and use them in our deliberations.

“There are clearly arguments for both uses, but we must move forward.”

“We know some people won’t be happy with what comes out, but at the end of the day we have to take a decision that is balanced.”