Opposition to Gisborne Market expansion


Elsie Lange

A proposal to expand Gisborne Market is facing opposition from residents.

The extension proposed by Great Region Events Activities and Tourism (GREAT), would extend the area of the existing market along Hamilton Street to the east, amend the permit’s preamble and change the market’s operating hours.

Submissions to the proposed amendment were heard at the Macedon Ranges council planning meeting on March 10, which raised concerns about traffic, parking, the market’s location, litter, a failure to adhere to the current permit and the impact on surrounding trees.

The current permit, granted by council in 2004, allows the Gisborne Olde Time Market to operate on the service road between Aitken and Hamilton streets in Gisborne from 9am to 1pm on the first Saturday of each month from July to September.

The amendment requests the market’s hours of operation change to the first Sunday of the month from 9am to 2pm, from January to December.

A submission by Irene Perkin thanked the GREAT organisation for their work on the market, but said its growth in recent years had caused traffic problems and parking difficulties for residents.

“I implore council officers and elected councillors to work with GREAT organisation with a view to seeking a new venue to the market or perhaps dividing it into two locations,” Ms Perkin said.

Another submitter said she thought the market was “far too big” for the centre of Gisborne and the revised rules were not acceptable.

“It needs to be toned down quite dramatically, it does cause chaos, it needs to be more sustainable like the Woodend and Lancefield markets,” she said.

GREAT president John Frearson spoke on behalf of the applicant and answered questions from councillors about the size of the market, the use of Howey Reserve, parking and flexibility around irrigation works.

“We would seek approval when possible to move down to the courthouse and then beyond, to regularise the use, up toward the public toilets in Aitken street on that side of the road,” Mr Frearson said.

“There is an increase, because of demand – we simply are very popular – Gisborne is a very popular location.”

He said the changes would regularise what the market is currently doing, rather than a “dramatic change in anything”.

Council voted to note submissions received in relation to the issue and requested recommendations be prepared for consideration at the next planning meeting on April 13.