Town market could be moved because of gas works
- Credit: Archant
Talks are under way about moving a town's weekly market during six months of gas works.
It has also been announced that drivers will not have to pay to leave their vehicles in two town centre car parks in North Walsham during the works.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) made the decision to waive parking fees in the short-stay facilities at Bank Loke and Vicarage Street from January 30.
A spokesperson from NNDC said: "Following discussions with concerned business owners, the Chamber of Trade and local councillors, a temporary solution has been found whilst Triio and Cadent are undertaking gas works in the town centre.
"This decision recognises and seeks to address the disruption anticipated in the town centre through these necessary infrastructure works, particularly the difficulty accessing the market place and the potential loss of on-street parking spaces."
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The council is also discussing whether the town council wishes to temporarily relocate the weekly market whilst the gas main works take place.
Eric Seward, deputy council leader and a councillor for North Walsham, said: "It was important for the council to quickly provide support to shops and businesses in the town centre during this difficult period.
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"The provision of two-hour free parking in the town's major car parks should encourage people to continue to come to the town centre and use its shops and facilities'."
Mike Hicks, who has lived in North Walsham for all of his life, said: "I am very frustrated, I have never seen such chaos.
"Surely there is a way in which we can prevent the hub of the market town being bought to a standstill.
"Has anybody given thought to all those shops and businesses that are dramatically affected by these works?
"There is no vehicular access, wheelchair, invalid carriages and prams are also affected.
"The work involved has virtually put all the businesses in this area "out of business".
"In my opinion, something must be done urgently to put things right. Retail at the moment is suffering badly.
"In addition to this, North Norfolk District Council must make some rate compensation for the months when it was impossible for the businesses to trade."