Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Retailing, Town, District and Local Centres DM64-69 [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 8046209//4
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 08 Mar 2013
Current Status Accepted

4) Markets

Whilst the draft plan makes many references to the support, expansion and promotion of local producers and produce there appears to be a major opportunity that has not been considered.

As a largely rural district,North Somersetis home to many farms, growers, small producers and artisans.

Currently there are small local venues, intermittent farmers markets and a number of ‘farm/factory gate’ retail outlets.

However,North Somersetlacks a regular weekly market.

Most of the old county towns throughout the country have this facility.

These markets are both essential outlets for local producers and give residents access to high quality locally sourced produce.

Due to the boundary changes and fragmentation of Avon,North Somersetis long overdue a venue capable of operating as a County Town Market.

It is my view that a site close to the M5 and probably close to the largest population centre ofWeston-super-Mareshould be considered for this purpose.

The benefits include:

            Local distribution to local population reduces carbon emission

            Residents gain easy access to good quality produce

            Producers benefit from greater contact with their consumers

            Producers raise their profile

            Enhances and strengthens local social networks and builds community

            FacilitatesNorth Somersetin promoting its image through local products

            The local economy benefits from increased trade

            Increase in revenue from passing trade delivered by the M5 Motorway

A multi-purpose venue in which regular markets can take place has other advantages.

In particular I’d like to draw comparison with the Royal Bath andWest Showground.

This venue attracts national events on a regular basis and yet is situated in a difficult to access location. This does not prevent the Showground from being a highly successful and nationally prominent venue.

As mentioned above,North Somersetis blessed to have the M5 connecting the area to the national road network. In addition Junction 21 of the M5 has a rail station relatively nearby.

* If the Sites and Policies plan is to have a bold and strategic vision for the future development of North Somerset I would expect it to contain some analysis of the potential benefits to the local economy of a development of this nature and scale.