CAMPAIGNERS want to bring a farmers market to their high street to boost business for struggling traders.

More than 500 people have already signed a petition to bring a farmers market to Station Road in Chingford, and shop keepers hope to collect at least another 500 signatures to ensure Waltham Forest Council takes notice of the issue.

Organiser Adam Osen, 53, of Woodberry Way, said there was a "clear demand" for the market and having one would discourage local residents from travelling to nearby Loughton to spend money at the market there.

"The only street market in the borough is in Walthamstow, which is just ridiculous," he added. "The number of signatures we've collected in just a few weeks shows there is a clear demand for the market and it would benefit business owners here and, by extension, the wider community.

"It would encourage people to spend their money locally and could help shops to thrive again, which creates a place for people to get together as a community. This could be a huge advantage in times of recession."

He believes the market would complement the local traders by selling fresh meat, bread, vegetables and wines, to ensure it does not clash with the products sold by the independent retailers.

He added that the market could become a strong magnet for local shoppers who do not want to travel on a bus for an hour to reach Walthamstow market, and who instead spend their money in nearby Loughton.

The co-owner of card and gift shop Needful Things, Debbie Carter, agreed that the market would bring a boost in trade.

"We're losing a lot of business because the council is pushing people towards Loughton by not providing a market here," she said. "All the shop keepers I've spoken to are really keen on the idea, it would help bring a bit of life back to the road.

"The only issue is parking but if it was held on Sundays that wouldn't be a problem. Shops have told me they'd even stay open that Sunday to benefit."

People can sign the petition inside Needful Things or sign it online here.

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