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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 08:56 GMT
New market plans upset traders
Option One for Norwich Market
Option one would have pod stalls and street art around the market
Residents in Norwich are being given the chance to choose a futuristic new look for the city's historic marketplace.

However, three options unveiled by Norwich City Council for the prime site have upset many existing stall holders.

A consultation process has begun to discover out which scheme finds favour with the public and councillor Brian Watkins has promised traders they will be kept informed of progress.

The council says the market is in need of an overhaul as the electrics and drainage are 30 years old, the stalls in need of repair and the aisles too narrow.

Councillor Watkins says all three options will address the current problems and each includes a wide middle aisle through the market and creating a path to the castle.

Option two for Norwich Market
Option two has awnings, similar to material at the Forum car park
However, the new wide aisles would see a reduction in the number of market stalls from 205 to between 140 and 160 and traders fear rents will increase as well.

The proposals will cost between 3.1m and 5.5m depending which scheme proves to be the most popular and which materials are used.

It is hoped work would begin to replace the market in January 2005 and finalised in time for Christmas shopping later in the year.

Market traders would operate from stalls in Gentleman's Walk during the reconstruction work.

Option three for Norwich Market
Option three has metal framed stalls covered by pyramids
The final scheme would also incorporate a redesign of the city's nearby war memorial, although plans for this have yet to be drawn up.

Planning permission would also need to be sought for the work on the market and as the council owns the site the application would have to be referred to the Government Office for the East of England.

Residents can vote for their favourite design on the council's website.

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