Market House development given green light

Market Place, Market House
An artist's impression of how the new Market House would be seen from near the church in Romford's Market Place
Published: Friday, 3 February 2017

One of the key elements of an investment programme developed by Havering Council in partnership with the Mayor of London has been given the green light.

The plan, designed to see the historic Romford Market return to the heart of the community, is set to take shape after plans for a new Market House in Romford were approved by the Council’s Regulatory Service Committee on Thursday 2 February.

The hearing followed a year-long programme of consultations that began at a meeting of the Market traders in February 2016.

Public displays of the plans in the Market Place, The Liberty Shopping Centre and Central Library in the autumn of 2016 generated more than 120 responses and over 90% supported the idea of a new Market House.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, the Leader of Havering Council said:

“Based upon advice we received from those operating successful markets around the country, it was decided that a key ingredient in regenerating Romford Market and Market Place should be the permanent provision of a quality catering offer to act as a draw and as a focal point within the town, to complement existing businesses. Following this advice, our architects were briefed to develop a design which respects the history of Market Place, the town centre and neighbouring historic buildings.

“I am pleased that work can now begin on the very important work of regenerating Romford Market. To coin a phrase that the Mayor of London used when describing Gallows Corner during a visit to our borough last year, “the status quo is not an option”. Without positive action Romford Market is in danger of withering and eventually dying. We want to revitalise the Market and the new Market House and public space that will be created in front of some of our most important and historic buildings in the borough will help do that.”

John Burton of Urban Space Management, a firm that specialises in work on markets and has been working with Havering Council on the project, says:

“Making this exciting building and creating an area around it that can be used for  activities any day of the week will be a really beneficial element to the future of Romford Market. The aim is to attract families back to the market with family friendly activity both inside the building and around it.”

The Market House is part of a series of projects which aim to regenerate the market and Market Place. The western end of Market Place in front of St Edward’s Church will be permanently pedestrianised to create a significant new open space for the town. The eastern end of Market Place will continue to provide parking on non-market days.

The Market House has been designed as a timber-framed structure, partially open at ground level and with an open terrace on its first floor. As well as café and restaurant facilities the building will contain a trader room providing facilities to market traders. Work on the new building is expected to begin this Spring.