An idea of moving Uckfield Farmers’ Market into the High Street has been ruled out by the town council because of health and safety fears.
It had favoured moving the market from a corner of Luxford car park on to the new wider High Street pavements to take advantage of greater footfall.
But members of the environment and leisure committee were told that although space was available in some areas of the High Street, there were concerns in relation to health and safety with it being more built up.
Risk of injury
An example of concerns reported – which were raised during an internal meeting between representatives of the town, district and county councils – was the setting up and weighting of metal stalls in high winds and risk of injury to passers-by or nearby vehicles/shop windows.
Instead, committee members approved another idea to move the market on to the Luxford Field during dry summer months such as April to September, or, if possible, extended from March to October.
This would be done on the understanding that larger events, such as the carnival weekend, takes precedence.
A report to the committee said that at other times of year, and when larger events are held, the market could be located on the drier ground of Luxfords car park.
It was thought that when there were smaller community-based events, there may be an opportunity for use of the field to be shared.
Cllr Ian Smith said the beauty of using the High Street was that everyone was moving up and down it shopping, while currently, unless people parked in the Luxford car park, they wouldn’t see the farmers’ market.
He added that although health and safety was mentioned that was not law, it was legislation and he would challenge that view because he didn’t know when there had been a severe wind in the High Street.
“There are plenty of High Street markets throughout the land and they are close to shops. I think that is a bit OTT. Possibly it could even use the parking bays for that one Saturday morning.”
Read a previous Uckfield News story about proposals to move the farmers’ market: Farmers’ market Uckfield High Street move wins support.