Plans for a temporary market to be set up in a Cardigan church building while work is carried out on the town’s market hall have been approved by planners, despite objections from highways officers over road safety fears.
A change-of-use application to the New Life Christian Centre on Quay Street to allow it to house market stalls for a period of up to two years was given the green light by council planning officers under delegated powers last week, along with permission for new signage.
The plan will see traders move from the Guildhall Market as work is carried out.
The Grade II-listed building - which has been used continuously since being built in 1860 - secured funding towards a a £1.7 million project to conserve, restore and repair as well as improving access to the building led by the Cardigan Building Preservation Trust.
Cardigan Town Council supported the application to use the church building as a temporary venue, but council road safety officers issued warnings.
In documents, Ceredigion County Council highways officers said the development “is detrimental to highway safety” and is in conflict with a policy “which requires new development to provide a safe environment by ensuring that associated access routes consider safety principles.”
“Deliveries for stallholders will be problematic as well as attracting additional pedestrians along a street that has little or no footpath provision,” officers added.
Planning documents said that the proposed market hall “will use the existing loading bay for traders, deliveries and customer drop off”.
The New Life Christian Centre is based at the former Budgens supermarket.
The work at the historic Market Hall which will see traders temporarily move will see structural repairs and urgent remedial works, including problems associated with “severe water incursion” in the building.
The electrical system will be substantially upgraded, a heating system installed for the first time and a new entrance block will enable full disabled access direct from the car park to both market floors instead of encountering the steep slope of College Row with its very narrow pavements.
The new entrance block and lift will also provide easy access to the building for market traders’ goods and for refuse collection.
Provision of public toilets within the new block will maintain “an important service for the local community and visitors” and “current traders’ jobs will be safeguarded and opportunities provided for up to 12 new businesses,” the trust said.
The plans for the temporary move to the New Life Christian Centre was approved last week subject to conditions that the use “shall revert back within two years”, that “provision shall be made for loading and unloading for two cars on the loading bay outside of the building”, “the highway and loading bay shall be kept free from obstruction at all times.”