Car park threat to local market

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plans to extend a supermarket are putting a South Yorkshire town’s central public car park and market under threat, local councillors have claimed.

Lidl wants to develop the car park in Stocksbridge which it says has suffered from years of neglect.

The public car park adjoins the store’s car park and is used each week for the town’s popular market. The planned transfer deal says that Lidl should retain the market on the site each week for a time-limited period.

But Coun Alison Brelsford, who represents Stocksbridge on Sheffield Council, said if Lidl owned the lease there was no guarantee that the market would be protected, particularly if the firm felt it was taking business away from their store.

There are only two stalls operating on the market, but Stocksbridge Town Council want to revive it and hold a Christmas market this year.

Teresa Bisatt, clerk to the Town Council, said if the popular fish stall on the market closed there would be ‘uproar in Stocksbridge’.

Fellow Stocksbridge ward councillor Jack Clarkson said the proposals could hurt small traders, as well as impact upon locals who are already hard-pressed for parking in the town centre.

He said: “It’s a case of Sheffield selling their silverware for a bit of money.

“We feel like we’re being targeted because we’re far from the city centre. It might be beneficial to Sheffield council as a whole but it’s taking away opportunities from Stocksbridge people.”

Lidl have promised to keep free spaces for residents in the future and to allow the market to continue.

Georgina Hall, Lidl spokeswoman, said: “Unfortunately, the council-owned car park has suffered from years of neglect, which has negatively affected the immediate area. Our proposal would allow us to refurbish the car park and to maintain it to a high standard going forward.”