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It’s Not Too Late to Comment on the Plans

September 26, 2014

stilltime
Leeds City Council Planning Department is still open for comments on the refurbishment of Kirkgate Market.

A planning manager told FoLKM:

Although the 11th Sept is the expiration date of the statutory publicity period we are still able to take representations on the application. Therefore, I would encourage those who still wish to comment to submit their representations as soon as possible so they can be taken in to account as part of the process.

Let the council know. It’s easy to do. Go to the Council planning page, click on Comments (you will need to register) and express yourself in the space provided. Alternatively send an email to planning@leeds.gov.uk (putting Ref 14/04516/LA in the subject line) or send a letter to: Leeds City Council, Planning Services, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, LS28HD, quoting Application number 14/04516/LA

No technical knowledge is needed; you can write about anything that bothers you about the plans: the rearrangement of the stalls, the creation of a daily covered market and event space, the lack of assurances about the outside market or, as many people have commented, the threat to the culture and atmosphere of the market. Here are extracts from some of the comments already submitted:

I think Kirkgate Market is a unique and valuable part of Leeds and I want to see it flourish. Of particular value is how the market serves all people,especially people with less money, different ethnic groups, people with disabilities, older people etc. The redevelopment should be looking to enhance this offer, not just maintain it.

The blatant gentrification of Kirkgate Market and the surrounding areas are insulting at a time when record numbers of families are accessing food banks, and living in food poverty. The people I work with do not need a John Lewis, they don’t need a Covered Daily Market and Event Space, they need to be able to buy cheap, healthy food in peace.

The market as it stands should be protected & promoted. It’s such a shame that the council seem intent on turning everything in the city centre into something bland & corporate. I can’t help but think about the damage done to the small businesses in the Corn Exchange a few years ago for what turned out to be a white elephant.

There is no clarity on the retention of the outdoor market, where I and many others do almost all my fruit and vegetable shopping. For me, a changing, but consistent outdoor market is a key aspect of its retail ‘offer’. I am very worried that there are no plans to keep or enhance it.

The idea of an events centre in the 1976 Hall I regard as an utter fantasy. Shopping isn’t really a branch of the entertainment industry…Also it is suggested in the planning documents that events will be programmed every day, all day. If this is to be the case, then a whole new team of staff will be needed to programme events. If this is what is envisaged, may I suggest that the money would be better spent organising a crèche.

By implementing these proposals, you risk destroying – or at least changing irrevocably – the unique selling point of Leeds market – its atmosphere. This is not something that can be conjured up out of a designer’s dream, however, but is something that – in Leeds – has built up decade after decade.

I like the market the way it is, is a great asset to Leeds both for visitors and residents. It is one of the few things that remain in this city with some character to it, please don’t change it.

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