A public consultation on new proposals for street trading in Canterbury city centre has begun.

In October 2021, councillors decided that when work starts in January 2023 to upgrade St George’s Street, the current market in this area will be disbanded. They also agreed to carry out a wholesale review of all street trading in the city centre, with the aim of improving the quality and variety of the offer available to residents and visitors.

Now, proposals are being put forward to increase the number of street trading pitches, and make the best use of space across a wider area. This includes Station Road West, other parts of the High Street not currently used for street trading, and in the vicinity of the Westgate Towers.

Westgate Towers

Four different zones for street trading in the city centre would be created, which, if agreed, will see the total number of pitches increase to 41, up from the current 36.

When the work in St George’s Street is finished, it is proposed that the central area could be used for events and activities as well as accommodating tables and chairs outside businesses.

Entertainment and street trading

Although the market will not return, there may also be some opportunities for street trading in St George’s Street when the work is complete. This will be revisited at a later date and is not specifically included in this consultation.

Cabinet member for place, Cllr Barbara Anne Flack, said: “We want to create a really vibrant atmosphere in the city centre with a high quality mix of stalls that appeals to everybody. A lot of consideration has gone into developing a set of proposals that we hope will achieve this, using new areas of the city and upping the number of pitches.

“We are very keen to hear views about the plans. Street trading is a subject lots of people are interested in and have quite strong opinions about, so constructive and thoughtful comments will be most welcome.”

River Stour in Canterbury

As well as asking for feedback, the council is also opening up expressions of interest for traders who are interested in applying for a street trader’s licence.

To take part in the consultation, go to the website and complete the questionnaire by Monday 11 July. All the comments will be reported to councillors later in the summer and they will then decide on the way forward.

By Ed

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