Watford Market traders are due to be consulted on long-awaited plans for the redevelopment of Charter Place.

Consultants working for the project’s appointed developer, Henry Boot Developments Limited, will be canvassing opinions about the scheme over the coming weeks.

At a meeting of Watford Borough Council’s market working group last night, councillors were told they should be able to see the results of the survey by next month.

Yet market traders, who have been promised a new venue for their stalls, were already keen to impress on representatives from the building firm the need for disruption to their businesses to be kept to a minimum.

Michael Rockman said he wanted the move to be from one site to the next without any temporary stopovers.

He said: "It is absolutely imperative for the market to move in one. Whatever goes, it must be in one rather than moving into a temporary building."

At the meeting, council bosses and traders were told that members of the public would also be consulted before the final plans for the council-owned shopping centre are drawn up.

The redevelopment of Charter Place has been on the cards for a number of years but has been beset with problems. Henry Boot is currently the third developer to take up the scheme which aims see the area rejuvenated and turned into a mixture of shops, restaurants and a cinema. The first developer, Capital Shopping Centres, which runs The Harlequin, was appointed back in 2003. However it was dismissed by the council five years later when councillors failed to agree with any of its plans for Charter Place.

The second developer, London and Regional, pulled out of the redevelopment scheme last year.

Meanwhile, as the groundwork for the current scheme is being laid council bosses said recent efforts to bolster the market had paid off.

At yesterday’s meeting Manny Lewis, managing director Watford Borough Council, said a fourth market day and guest markets had attracted more shoppers to Charter Place.

He said: "I think through a considerable amount of effort by councillors, market traders and council officers, the guest markets have had impetus in building additional vibrancy."

Councillor Helen Lynch, a Liberal Democrat representing the central area of Watford, called on councillors to show more support for the market by shopping there themselves.

She said: "I would urge other councillors to support the guest markets and visit them."