Access fears prompt new market layout

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PLANNERS have come up with a new proposed layout for market stalls in Hemel Hempstead following concerns about access and seating.

Officers were sent back to the drawing board by councillors, who criticised an original plan for blocking seats and stopping people with disabilities getting around Marlowes.

Fresh plans are due to be presented to a meeting of Dacorum Borough Council’s development control committee tomorrow evening (Thursday).

The plans include two layouts for different times of the year, with 68 stalls during the winter, placed closer to planters to enable hook-ups to lighting power points without long trailing cables.

In the summer the number of stalls is cut by seven to 61 to give more room around planters.

Under the revamp the current green metal seating will go, to be swapped with hardwood seats, and the planters will be replaced.

The contract to run the market – held for 12 years by Town and Country Markets – runs out later this year.

A report to councillors says: “There will be zero impact on disabled access following the amended market stall layout, with any breaks in the stall layout being of at least 3m in width.

“The amendments will also be improving the conditions in terms of stall visibility, as well as reducing opportunities for trip hazards by mobility-impaired individuals.”

Work is currently under way to build a ‘food court’ outside Boots.