The following post is adapted from content supplied by Fiona Newton who, with Louise Irving, is developing the new monthly Fitzroy market to be held at the Fitzroy primary school. The market received a permit from the City of Yarra, but some residents have appealed some of its conditions.
This means the appeal will have to go to VCAT to receive a final judgement. The VCAT hearing is expected to be around mid October. I hope VCAT approval will be a formality as the council is in favour of the market.
Local residents who have lodged complaints seem to have vague and irrational justifications for opposing the proposal. For example, they claim that there is not enough parking (they have permit parking outside their houses). People coming from far away to attend the market will have to park streets away as they do now when coming to Fitzroy to go to a restaurant.
They are opposed to noise and foot traffic in the area and feel that the market will attract ‘undesirables’ from Smith St and Brunswick St to their neighbourhood. People like their own children and grandchildren perhaps?
A woman claimed that the market would not benefit the local community at all. A man claimed that we would be inspiring other events like this to start up, and therefore more people would be drinking alcohol in the area (even though the market won’t be selling alcohol).
They are concerned that the market will generate more waste. One resident claimed that the market would attract rats to the area. All this is nonsense. It’s the usual NIMBY story.
They want the market reduced hours, from 9am-12pm once a month, rather than 10am-3pm, but running a market for 3 hours is not viable. The market will run one day a month, during the daytime, and will draw some new people to the area as well as many of the people who usually hang around Fitzroy on the weekend shopping, eating and relaxing.
I would think that most people coming to the market will be walking. There will be increased foot traffic to the immediate area around the school, but streets are public spaces. Fitzroy is not a gated community where only those in fuck-off monster truck 4WDs get to enter.
I’m in favour of the market, as I believe are most residents. I hope they get to open before the end of the year.