OPPONENTS of the Mayor's plan to redevelop Queens Market have questioned the council's costing of an alternative refurbishment option.

Christian Peoples Alliance Cllr Alan Craig says misleading figures were presented to cabinet as part of a recent progress report.

A breakdown of the cost of refurbishment, which is the preferred option of opponents to the Mayor Sir Robin Wales' plans, allocates £300,000 to deal with a filling station that was demolished some time ago.

The Mayor's plan to work with property developer St Modwen to redevelop the area in Upton Park, by knocking down existing buildings and introducing flats and an Asda supermarket, have met strong local opposition.

The progress report says the refurbishment option will lead to marginal financial benefits for the council and will not enable it to meet Government targets.

It also states that inherent defects in the design of the market and problems with crime and anti-social issues will not be resolved.

Calling for the resignation of Cllr June Leitch, the cabinet member responsible for the Queens Market project, Cllr Craig said: "These false figures bump up the costs, which make the renovation option favoured by market supporters look less viable."

Hitting back at the criticism, Sir Robin said: "There were no inaccuracies in the report that was sent to cabinet.

"The whole point of refurbishing something is to bring it back to the state it was once in.

"In the case of Queens Market, it originally had a filling station. In order for us to consider all possible options we obtained a quote on the cost of bringing the filling station back.

"Without that element, the refurbishment option would cost £5.7 million, rather than £6 million £5.7million represents a cost of more than £200 for every man, woman and child in the Green Street area.

"A detailed survey has shown that our proposals have broad support, although we are constantly striving to improve them after listening to local residents and traders.

"We have already made considerable changes to the original plans. We are looking at keeping open the council-run shop and I would once again encourage anyone with views on the future of Queens Market to head down there and talk to our staff."

In response Cllr Craig said: "The Mayor's comments are sheer nonsense. There has been no suggestion by St Modwen, Asda, the council or anyone else that a filling station should be refurbished at Queens Market.

"Anyway, you cannot refurbish something that simply isn't there. It would need rebuilding from scratch.

"It is a phantom filling station that doesn't exist."