Express & Star

Part of Dudley market could be turned into a cafe and 'street-food' area

Part of Dudley's historic market place is in line for a major revamp which could see part of it redeveloped as an outdoor cafe and 'street food' area.

Dudley market place

The proposals, which include, a heated undercover seating area, are to go before the council's planning department.

If approved, the plans will mark a major change for the market, which dates back to the 12th century.

The plans, put forward by the council's department for regeneration, would see the storage building at the northern end of the market place converted into a kitchen.

If approved, a number of market stalls will be removed and replaced with an undercover dining area and 'pop up' stalls for street food.

The plans would also enable the market place to host special events, to draw more people into the town.

The proposals also include patio heaters and see-through screens to provide shelter in adverse weather conditions.

Councillor Paul Bradley, deputy leader of the council, said: "This is about bringing more people into the town centre by broadening the offer for visitors and shoppers.

"If the planning application is successful it will also build on the regeneration investments in and around the town centre and will hopefully revitalise trade for the businesses."

The application described the scene as part of a wider regeneration strategy to help the town.

"We believe the updated market structure will help create a central hub to serve those within the local and wider community," it said.

"Furthermore, by integrating a new seating area and opening the stalls within the vicinity of the new cafe will provide a unique opportunity to host an array of events for the community, protected from the weather.

"Before the proposed changes, it would not be possible to host certain events due to the risk of adverse weather damaging stock and props.

"The open space also enables traders to have more creative displays."

However, one resident has expressed concerns that bird mess from roosting pigeons could create hygiene problems.

Members of the public have until March 13 to express their views on the proposals.