Butter Market News Is No News

Posted by Stephen Baker on 23rd May 2008

I’m disappointed to see there continues to be no “real news” about the planned redevelopment of the Butter Market in the Chichester Observer.

Since the development decision was made, my team has received numerous comments through the web site and in person from local producers and consumers. Without fail, these comments express extreme unhappiness with the council’s decision and the development plan for the Butter Market. At the request of the Observer, I forwarded some of these comments to the paper, along with an overview of what our alternative proposal of a Toll Market meant for Chichester’s taxpayers and the local economy as a whole.

The lack of response from the Mayor to my open letter, followed by the absence of any coverage in the Observer, leads me to conclude that the paper’s news team agrees with the council that Chichester’s citizens are actually in favour of the proposed development and that the complaints aired by concerned consumers and disheartened producers carry no weight.

With only four of the twenty elected councillors responsible for voting for the winning proposal in the first instance, I had hoped that the Observer might investigate, not only why this was the case, but also whether the remaining sixteen councillors felt happy with the decision. I am slightly heartened, however, by the fact that minutes from a recent Finance Committee meeting show that Orion have now amended - or been asked to amend - their winning bid to include an outlet offering “produce from the local economy”. This can only be as a result of our continued pressure.

Personally, I do not see how another supermarket type outlet can bring reward to all local taxpayers. It is obviously a far cry from the “Toll Market” that our bid sought to re-create (something the building was originally constructed to deliver over 200 years ago) and, furthermore, I feel desperately sad that the city has lost an opportunity to benefit financially the thousands of hard-working taxpayers of Chichester who are the rightful owners of the Butter Market and who could ALL have benefited from its intrinsic value.

Regardless, this is clearly a decision the council are happy with - and happy to live with for the next 99 years - as they obviously feel no review of the decision is necessary.

We’re still happy to hear the opinions of the people who will benefit the least from this decision - the local consumers and producers of Chichester.

One comment:

  1. daisy says:
    3rd July 2008 at 9:55 am

    You want people to visit Chichester, they dont want new, they want Chichester old. Americans oome all that way to see old not the heart ripped out of a beautiful old city. They have new at home. Too many youngsters in charge today, somebody tell them about recycling and respecting the envirement.

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