Narrowest of margins as Junkyard Market gets 12-month permission

Junkyard Market with the Junkyard team. Organiser Michael Femi-Ola (Centre Back) Pictures: BRITTANY

The Junkyard Market has been granted permission to use the St Mary's Work car park for 12 months. - Credit: Archant

Norwich's Junkyard Market has been granted permission to remain in place for 12 months - by the narrowest of margins.

The decision came down to the casting vote of Norwich City Council’s planning committee chairman - after councillors heard complaints from some of its neighbours.

The pop-up food and drinks market, based in the car park of St Mary's Works, runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

But there are limits on how often it can operate over a year, so Afterdark Promotions sought permission from City Hall to temporarily change the use from a car park to an outdoor events venue/food market for 12 months.

However, about a dozen neighbours objected, citing litter, pools of vomit, noise and anti-social behaviour - such as people ringing their doorbells.

Green Party Councillor Jamie Osborn raised residents concerns at a recent city council meeting

Jamie Osborn, Green city councillor for Mancroft. - Credit: Jamie Osborn

Jamie Osborn, Green city councillor for Mancroft, called the application in to the committee due to these objections.


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It was discussed on Thursday, at the first City Hall physical meeting since the first coronavirus lockdown last year.

He said: “It is having a really serious impact on people’s quality of life in neighbouring properties.”

The venue has put posters up reminding customers to be quiet when leaving and has marshals.

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The committee heard from the applicant’s agent that, with some 50 staff and traders, along with the knock-on effect to other businesses along the supply chain, it brought economic benefits.

Licensing consultant Gavin Tempest, for the applicant, said the police had not raised concerns.

He said: “This is one of the most checked and regulated businesses in the city and it’s a business which has continued to improve.”

But Labour councillor Mike Sands said: “I believe the hours are too liberal and it is not a suitable venue.”

He was one of three councillors to vote against permission. Three voted in favour and one abstained.

Keith Driver, chairman of Norwich City Council's planning committee. Photo: Bill Smith

Keith Driver, chairman of Norwich City Council's planning committee. - Credit: Archant © 2013

That tie meant Labour committee chairman Keith Driver used his casting vote to approve it.

He said: “It’s well controlled and I think we should give them the 12 months. If anything happens, then people can bring it to the licensing committee for review and they can look at it.”

A condition limits the market to three days a week and states it must close at 10pm.

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