Salisbury Charter Market traders have voiced concerns over suggested plans on changes to the market layout.

An email seen by the Journal from a Salisbury City Council officer addressed to market traders confirmed that a consultation on a market layout change took place on Tuesday, February 27.

It is not known at this stage what changes, if any, would be made. 

In the email, the officer said that the layout change is “purely a proposal and nothing is set in stone”.

The officer added: “There appears to be a lot of rumours and misconstrued information going around the market about what is happening.

“This is a very serious and important decision that we must all make together, for the good of everyone and it is vital that you all have the most accurate and up-to-date information at every stage.”

Salisbury Journal: Salisbury market

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The officer also apologised for the lack of prior email notification for the consultation to market traders, as the email the officer had attempted to send on the morning of February 27 “appeared not to send”.

Simon Stevens, 67, of Quetzal Coffee, has been trading on the market for 30 years and said the proposed changes would be unnecessary, adding to the difficulties market traders have endured in recent years and are still recovering from.

The 2018 Novichok attacks and Covid pandemic both negatively impacted business at the market.

Although he characterised it as a welcome upgrade, Simon added the resurfacing of the market square was also disruptive to traders.

Simon said: “The best course of action is to knock the idea of layout change on the head. Traders appear to be happy where they are.

“Non-traders cannot be fully cognizant of the disruption, loss of trade and stress caused by enforced changes to layout. Randomness, 'higgeldy-piggeldiness', and general absence of order and straight lines—not to mention the backstories of why traders are where they are—are part of the attraction for market customers.”