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Traders ‘very pleased’ as Dartford's Thursday market prepares to move to the high street

Dartford’s Thursday market is on the move, leaving its home at Sainsbury’s and going into the town centre.

Held in the car park of the Priory Shopping Centre from 8.30am to 3.30pm, the lease with the supermarket has now come to an end.

With up to 220 stalls, Dartford council said it was keen not to lose it so has made arrangements for it to come to the High Street.

The Saturday market in Dartford
The Saturday market in Dartford

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite, who revealed a food court will also form part of the market, said: “The fact that Sainsbury’s want their car park back for parking is good for the town in one way, but not so much for the market.

“For the past three or four months we’ve been working with traders to find it a new home and we’ve now agreed to move them into the High Street pitches from September 4.

“They are all very pleased and we’ve actually built a whole marketing campaign around them [the market] which will be revealed soon.

“Losing this market wasn’t an option.”

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite
Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite

There are also plans to introduce a Sunday vintage market, though discussions for this remain ongoing.

Elsewhere, Aldi will definitely be moving into the former Waitrose space at the Orchards Shopping Centre, but when that will happen remains a mystery.

Town hall chiefs believe it could be before Christmas, but inquiries to the Orchards had not been answered at the time of going to press.

Demolition work has now begun by Tesco for the Lowfield Street development after an 11-year wait that promises the town a Tesco shop and more than 100 homes.

The work is only being carried out on the buildings owned by Tesco.

Lowfield Street, Dartford.
Lowfield Street, Dartford.

The company continues to negotiate with a number of property owners to buy their land so the development can go ahead.

The development includes plans for 107 new and renovated flats.

Of those, 34 will have one bedroom, 72 will have two bedrooms, and one will be a studio apartment.

The development will run along the north east side of Lowfield Street, between Market Street and down towards Fairfield Pool and Leisure Centre.

The shop will have 362 parking spaces and residents in the flats will have a further 60.

Cllr Kite added: “We’ve cleared the last hurdle and I think we’re at the end game now. They do want to build this.”

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