SHOPKEEPERS in Stratford town centre have stalled a contentious street market going ahead.
A band of some 30 shop, restaurant and cafe owners united to oppose a winter market being held on Waterside on ten Sundays between January and March after complaining they were impacting on their trade.
The application to hold the market was submitted to Stratford District Council (SDC) by LSD Promotions – which organises markets in the town – and was discussed by SDC’s licensing panel following the strength of opposition.
And the panel decided not to grant the licence due to the case put forward by the town’s traders, leaving the future of the Waterside Winter Upmarket hanging in the balance.
Alison Halford, owner of dog boutique Sniff and Bark in Chapel Street, spearheaded the revolt against the market, which would have seen between 50 and 75 stallholders descend on Waterside in the new year.
The market was held in the town for the first time at the beginning of 2022 and Ms Halford claimed it had kept shop customers away, was an eyesore, and also an environmental concern.
Ms Halford said: “It is unsightly and detracts from the free open space, natural views of the canal and riverside, the Bancroft Gardens and the world-famous RSC. Visitors get this first view when coming over Bridgefoot towards Bancroft Gardens.”
She added there were also environmental concerns due to chemical cleaners, used by stallholders, running into the canal used by swans, ducks and other wildlife.
Other businesses that put their name to the objection included the Dirty Duck, The Garrick Inn, The Vintner Restaurant, Lambs Restaurant, Havilands Tea Room, The Opposition Restaurant, Montpellier, Canal River Tours and Shiptons Jewellers.
A Stratford Bid survey last year showed support for the Friday and Saturday markets on Rother Street but not for markets on Waterside.
LSD Promotions defended its application saying it introduced the winter markets to support businesses through the “difficult” winter months, especially after the pandemic – and claimed footfall increased.
It added that 34 objectors was not enough to support Ms Halford’s statement the market had a negative impact on Stratford BID members when there were a total of 450 members in the town.ere a total of 450 members in the town.