Plans agreed for new Watford Market to be moved from Charter Place to TJ Hughes car park

Watford Observer: New Watford Market plans agreed New Watford Market plans agreed

Proposals to move Watford Market to a new covered site in the town centre have been agreed.

Council planners signed-off plans on Friday to move the market to the car park of the TJ Hughes building off High Street.

As the application received fewer than five objections it did not need to go to a vote of the council's development control committee.

The market is set to move from its current location in Charter Place next summer as the aging shopping centre is due to be knocked down and redeveloped by the operators of intu Watford.

Watford Borough Council, which has undertaken the £2 million project to move the market, said the new version will be fully covered with a canopy roof and have new lighting signs to lift its profile in the town centre.

The new market will have space for around 40 permanent stalls.

The ground floor will include stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, with the upper floor providing a food court selling hot food and drink.

Elected mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: "I believe Watford should have a market that we can all be proud of. We have gone for the best option possible - a two storey market, with stalls spilling out onto The Parade, and open five days a week.

She added: "We have selected Town & Country Markets to manage the market for us. The company has a strong track record, operating 16 markets across the country. They have led major redevelopments including Old Spitalfields market, which they also operate, and are working with Shepherds Bush market."

Following the announcement, Grant Adams, Chairman of Market Traders Association at Watford Market, said: "The traders have been working closely with the council to create a new modern market place which will hopefully appeal to a wider audience than the current market hall. The market has evolved many times in the past and I have every faith this latest incarnation will be no different."

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Watford Borough Council is leasing the site from Legal & General Property, who have also secured leases that see the return of Clements and the opening of B&M Bargains at the former TJ Hughes site.

Mayor Thornhill added: "Together with the new market, these openings will create real vibrancy in this part of the town centre and will attract more shoppers and visitors which will be a boost to the surrounding shops and restaurants. This is another piece of great news for our town centre and I can’t wait to see it all finished next year."

The current market will continue trading in Charter Place until the opening of its new home next summer.

Comments (8)

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12:59pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Hairy Hornet says...

Another great photo opportunity looming for our grinning mayoress! Hope the new market is as popular as the Imagine festival held in June that 100,000 apparently attended.
Another great photo opportunity looming for our grinning mayoress! Hope the new market is as popular as the Imagine festival held in June that 100,000 apparently attended. Hairy Hornet

1:12pm Wed 11 Dec 13

CaptainPC says...

Now the TJ Hughes site is occupied, will this still go ahead?
Now the TJ Hughes site is occupied, will this still go ahead? CaptainPC

2:36pm Wed 11 Dec 13

dontknowynot says...

oh they have moved Hughes Car park it is now adjacent to the Parade and stalls can spill out onto it, it all makes sense now!!!
oh they have moved Hughes Car park it is now adjacent to the Parade and stalls can spill out onto it, it all makes sense now!!! dontknowynot

6:38pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Peter Jeffree says...

Great news for the town. The combination of the new market and the new traders in the former Clements/TJ Hughes building should help to attract customers and then other new retailers back into the upper end of the High Street.
Great news for the town. The combination of the new market and the new traders in the former Clements/TJ Hughes building should help to attract customers and then other new retailers back into the upper end of the High Street. Peter Jeffree

9:30pm Wed 11 Dec 13

nortwat says...

another picture or our Dotty so nice to see . would of rather seen a picture of the new market
another picture or our Dotty so nice to see . would of rather seen a picture of the new market nortwat

11:49pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Andrew1963 says...

B&M bargains - it's not the sort of place "ladies that lunch" aspire to. There is little prospect of a retail revival in the high street. All the new retail offer is out of town. Morrisons in west Watford or within the intu centre. With the revamped high street frontage of charter place being A3 leisure uses. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the retail sector is evolving away from the old retail world of 30 years ago. Retail will be less dominant and polarised between high end and discounters. Successful retail in Watford needs to go high end to attract business. For example both Brent Cross and Westfield are packed because of the predominance of aspirational brands and not discounters. Intu will want more Apple type lets in the expanded centre. Which is the retail hub. The high street will evolve with convenience retail to serve the additional dwellings that will use more space in the town centre and more leisure uses. When was the last time Watford was totally gridlocked on a Saturday. It was a common occurrence pre internet in the run up to Christmas. Shopping has changed, and the market needs to be more specialist and a destination, rather than a business model based on discounting and passing trade. I doubt the vision will work with the new venue and current traders. St. Albans street market is integral to the town retail offer. The new Watford market will be isolated from the main retail offer at intu and will have to work very hard to get people to visit.
B&M bargains - it's not the sort of place "ladies that lunch" aspire to. There is little prospect of a retail revival in the high street. All the new retail offer is out of town. Morrisons in west Watford or within the intu centre. With the revamped high street frontage of charter place being A3 leisure uses. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the retail sector is evolving away from the old retail world of 30 years ago. Retail will be less dominant and polarised between high end and discounters. Successful retail in Watford needs to go high end to attract business. For example both Brent Cross and Westfield are packed because of the predominance of aspirational brands and not discounters. Intu will want more Apple type lets in the expanded centre. Which is the retail hub. The high street will evolve with convenience retail to serve the additional dwellings that will use more space in the town centre and more leisure uses. When was the last time Watford was totally gridlocked on a Saturday. It was a common occurrence pre internet in the run up to Christmas. Shopping has changed, and the market needs to be more specialist and a destination, rather than a business model based on discounting and passing trade. I doubt the vision will work with the new venue and current traders. St. Albans street market is integral to the town retail offer. The new Watford market will be isolated from the main retail offer at intu and will have to work very hard to get people to visit. Andrew1963

7:36am Thu 12 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Glad to see that there an improved roof design is in place to protect customers and the stock of traders when the weather is inclement. The key to its success rests with ensuring that the area is clear of litter, tidy, with good use of lighting and has a daily vibrancy and not people leave wondering is it open today.
Glad to see that there an improved roof design is in place to protect customers and the stock of traders when the weather is inclement. The key to its success rests with ensuring that the area is clear of litter, tidy, with good use of lighting and has a daily vibrancy and not people leave wondering is it open today. Cuetip

1:44pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ramage1996 says...

VOTE DOTTY!

Greatest mayor this town has ever had.
VOTE DOTTY! Greatest mayor this town has ever had. ramage1996

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