MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse has called for the Bath Farmers’ Market to be allowed to use the vacant Homebase car park as a temporary location while their usual Green Park Station site is unavailable.
The market, which takes place every Saturday and has been operating since 1997, is usually sited at Green Park Station, however an issue with the roof has meant traders are having to find alternative space to use until it is repaired.
MP Wera Hobhouse has asked Sainsbury’s local management and head office to show ‘goodwill’ and allow the popular market to use the Homebase car park as a temporary solution.
Acting Leader of B&NES Council Cllr Richard Samuel is also working to find an alternative space for traders to use until Green Park is made safe.
Wera Hobhouse said: “Representatives of the Bath Farmers’ Market, the oldest modern farmer’s market in the country which has been trading for 23 years, and the permanent traders in Green Park Station contacted my office in connection with the closure of the station due to safety issues with the roof.”
“Richard Samuel is keeping me updated on the situation. While the Council owns Green Park Station, Sainsbury’s holds a long lease and is responsible for its maintenance and repair.
“Results of a survey to assess the damage, and an indication of how long it will take to repair it, are expected soon. Richard Samuel is working hard to find a solution for our traders, many of whom have suffered severe financial hardship due to the pandemic.
“Sainsbury’s made the former Homebase parking lot available to the Bath Farmers’ Market as a one-off location after the damage was discovered which was an excellent interim solution.
“I have asked Sainsbury’s to continue to make the parking lot available as a temporary site for the Farmers’ Market. Sainsbury’s is a vital element of our community and this would be a hugely welcome gesture of goodwill to our traders and their customers.”
Cllr Richard Samuel added: “Green Park Station, its permanent traders and the weekly Bath Farmers’ Market are important fixtures of our local economy and add so much to our community spirit.
“We don’t yet know the full extent of the damage to the glass roof of Green Park Station or how long it will take to repair it.
“We are looking at a variety of easily accessible alternative locations for our traders to ensure they can continue to serve their long-standing customers.”
A statement by the Ethical Property Company, who manage Green Park Station, said: “We have had to take the difficult decision to close access to parts of Green Park Station to ensure the safety of those who work and visit this amazing building.
“Part of the glass roof of Green Park Station has caused us concern with one panel becoming loose and Building Control were called in to assess the situation.
“The majority of the site does remain open and businesses are still trading as usual. We are currently waiting for our landlords, Sainsbury’s, to provide us with a copy of the buildings audit and risk assessment and further information on the action they will take to ensure we can open the affected section fully and safely.
“The owners of the site, Bath & North East Somerset Council are aware of the situation and we are working with all our partners to ensure the safety of the public.”
This Saturday, 24th April, the Bath Farmers’ Market is being held at the Bath Soft Cheese Company site in Kelston (BA1 9AG).