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.

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.