Plan to bring stalls back to Plymouth waterfront
PLYMOUTH'S Waterfront could go back to the future as a way of bringing more people to the area.
In an echo of pre-war days, 15 traders could be allowed to set up stalls on Madeira Road and Hoe Road.
They could sell anything from arts and crafts to whelks and fresh fish.
Local people are being asked what they think of the plans drawn up by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership.
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Chris Arscott, chairman of the Waterfront Partnership, said: "We want to generate more vibrancy around the Waterfront. But we want quality, not kiss-me-quick stalls.
"I see the stalls supplementing not competing with existing traders – that's the last thing we want to do.
"Partly the driving force is to increase footfall on the Waterfront and to make the whole of the Hoe and Foreshore a more vibrant place.
"The more people you have, the safer the area will be."
The stalls could be in place by late Spring or early summer.
Sarah O'Leary, the Waterfront manager, said profits from letting the stalls will be ploughed back into the Waterfront Business Improvement District for marketing and events.
Six of the stalls will be set aside for artists, and one for crafts. One will be a pick-up and drop-off point for walking tours. The other seven will be for general use – food or non-food items. None will sell ice cream.
The only seating allowed will be at the artists' stalls.
The stalls will be spread out from West Pier on the Barbican to the Colonnade to the east of the Dome on the Hoe.
Ms O'Leary said the kind of stalls that could be allowed might include people selling fresh fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, strawberries and cream, winkles – anything that will enhance the existing offer, not compete with it.
"What we don't want is burger vans or fairground-style stalls."
She said that similar stalls existed on the Hoe before the Pier was destroyed during the Second World War.
"The intention is to create more street vibrancy and provide an extended offer for visitors and create more of a traditional feel.
"If people say 'No', we'll act accordingly.
"We are here to work on behalf of the private sector, not to scupper the private sector."
She said the Waterfront BID would be open to applications from existing traders in the area as well as others, but that any proposal would have to meet the standards set.
"We are working with one of the city's most beautiful areas and we need to get this right," she said.
Prospective traders will have to provide their own stalls, which will need to be approved.
If the proposals get the thumbs-up from local people, the council's licensing committee will be asked to approve sites for the stalls at the Colonnade on the Hoe, above the Tinside Lido, at seven different spots on Madeira Road, on Commercial Wharf and on West Pier near "the Prawn".
The city council has sent out letters outlining the plans and responses have to be in by Tuesday, January 22.
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