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For or against? Rival petitions over Nag’s Head market revamp

Fears of ‘noise and disruption’ if development gets go-ahead – as supporters say scheme would bring prosperity to neighbourhood

31 July, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

SUPPORTERS and objectors of a redevelopment scheme for the Nag’s Head market have set out their stalls in clashing petitions after new planning applications were submitted.

Owners of the prominent Holloway covered market have been engaged in a tussle with Town Hall planning and licensing depart­ments for years seeking an alcohol and food permit for an upper mezzanine floor.

New planning applications have been submitted by Nag’s Head Market owners.

The first proposes the use of the new mezzanine floor for food, known as Class A3, while the bottom floors will continue to be a mix of shops, food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The second application is a “part retrospective” scheme for storage containers and a ventilation flue out the back of the market that developers want to reduce in size and clad in green brick.

Finsbury Park Labour councillor Gary Heather has set up a petition opposing the plans, which states: “We welcome development of the market that maintains and improves a diverse retail shopping offer that serves the needs of the local community. Too many hot food and alcohol businesses will not best serve local residents, and will lead to many negative environmental impacts.”

The main objection, they say, is the potential for “noise and disruption” as they “fear the market could become a party/night-club venue through mission creep by subse­quent planning and licensing applications”.

But Colin Marner, who co-owns the market, strenuously rejects this view.

At the moment the market does not have an alcohol licence. The owners plan to apply for one at a later date for the upper floor only, but they say that if it is granted they will ensure there is a token system that means punters can only buy alcohol with a meal and the area will close at 10pm.

The petition supporting the scheme states: “We consider that it [the new planning proposals] would bring prosperity to the neighbourhood and enhance community spirit. This is very impor­tant when many more of us are spending more time at home and while our economy is under considerable strain.”

The petition adds that residents are calling on the council to bring in traffic calming measures in the nearby area as well.

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