Cambridge market renovation consultation extended to allow testing of new stands
The consultation on the market square renovation will be extended until the end of the month to allow traders to test new stand designs.
Cambridge City Council’s multi-million pound plans include wide central seats, a new layout, improved infrastructure and more flexibility for space.
The consultation focuses on a design concept to transform the square so that it can be used for other evening purposes, such as events.
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In order to be able to use the square for other purposes when it is not being used for the outdoor market, the permanent fixed market stalls which currently occupy the square should be replaced by demountable stalls.
Trial versions of both booth options were installed in the plaza last week for merchants to test out and the public to see, which will be there until the end of the month.
The prototypes were criticized by opposition Liberal Democrat advisers, who expressed disappointment.
Cllr Katie Porrer, who represents the market district, said: “Although the stall design looks a lot like our current market, the substance is very different.
“The test stall is incredibly fragile and small, and already rusts after being outdoors for only a week. It seems more suited to a Punch and Judy show than to an all-weather market seven days a week. ”
These units are available in a range of sizes up to a maximum of three by three meters and can be configured to meet the requirements of different types of merchant businesses, including retail, hot food and produce fresh, the council said.
He said he is continuing to investigate whether or not there are other alternative stall systems being tested.
The council added that the purpose of the initial trial run was to see whether or not there was support to invest in a longer-term operational trial of the new stalls during the fall and fall. winter.
Cllr Rosy Moore, City Center Executive Advisor, said: “A key overall goal of the project is to safeguard the long-term future of the market and the diverse range of independent small business enterprises, which contribute to the dynamism and vitality from the city center, both socially and economically.
“The demountable stall systems that we are testing this month will play an important role in shaping the overall proposals to improve our beloved marketplace, both for market traders, those who use the market. and the urban community at large.
“I urge anyone interested in the future of the marketplace to come to the site to take a look at and express their views on the test stands on display, as well as the global vision and design proposals for this key. downtown civic space by July 31.
The stands were initially only to be tested after the consultation was over, as the consultation focused on the overall vision proposed for the space, rather than the specifics of the stand design, but this was criticized by the opposition.
Cllr Cheney Payne, downtown spokesperson for the Lib Dems, said: “When the consultation first began, the Labor Council’s plan was to leave the stalls until a much later stage of. detailed design.
“However, the collapsible stalls are integral to the successful redevelopment of the market square, both to maintain a suitable space for the work of the market traders and to make collapsing and storing them for occasional evenings quite easy. to maintain our seven-day market.
“There were so many questions about the stalls that weren’t answered: how weatherproof they are; whether they will withstand the wind in the market place and how much buying and trading time will be lost due to parts of the market closing early to take down the stalls.
“After concerted pressure from us and market traders, the Labor executive adviser has finally agreed to procure an example of a stall currently on display in the market and will initiate a second round of consultation on this in due course.”
Liberal Democrat Cllr Olaf Hauk said: “The problem with this consultation is that it seems to start with the assumption that teardown stalls are compatible with our marketplace and a seven-day-a-week market.
“If market traders tell us that is just not possible, no consultation will make the stalls unusable for use.
“The workforce needs to be prepared to rethink their original design of the marketplace if demountable stalls don’t work, and consider more flexible solutions such as a mix of permanent and demountable stalls to meet the needs of customers. different companies in the market. “
The council said it had worked with representatives of market traders to develop a design brief and evaluation criteria for collapsible stall systems to be selected and tested.
Some of the criteria include durability, practicalities of its installation and dismantling, adaptability of internal layout, wind resistance, storage needs and transport needs.
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Subject to the outcome of the trial, the second step of the trial will be to select a preferred vendor for a full operational trial during the remainder of this year.
This full trial would involve hiring five to ten stalls with arrangements to suit different types of traders and obtaining the agreement of different companies to use the selected stalls in place of their usual fixed stalls for a period of time. test set.
The results of the consultation, along with any proposed design changes and recommended next steps in the development of the project, are to be communicated to the environmental and community review committee of council in March 2022.
If the trials prove unsuccessful, the board will revisit the proposed overall design to consider how it could still be reasonably achieved, with all fixed market stalls or a combination of collapsible and fixed stalls.
The board said it will not move on to the next stage of design work until the results of the consultation and the initial demountable stall test are known.
To participate in the consultation, click here.
To give your opinion on the demountable stall test, click here.
The deadline to complete both is July 31.
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