Wednesday 4 May 2016
Bega Valley Shire Council has approved a weekly market for Bega’s Littleton Gardens, with Councillors also agreeing to expand the number of stalls allowed from 30 to 40.
While the Council resolution does not apply to any specifically named land user, the current SCPA Farmers’ Market has earned Council’s support through a promise to provide locally grown fresh food and produce.
Council’s Strategy and Business Director, Lucas Scarpin said the SCPA market had offered a service to the town of Bega that otherwise would not be available.
“If the offering of a weekly service assists local growers in building a consistent service then Council is willing to work with SCPA or other bodies,” he said.
“This is something that needs to be balanced with an agreement to provide space for a weekly market that does not negatively impact on the community’s Littleton Gardens investment.
“Large amounts of time, money and community input has gone into developing Littleton Gardens, so we must be mindful of the potential impacts a weekly market may have on this asset.
“It’s also important to point out that Bega Valley Shire Council is the Trustee of Littleton Gardens on behalf of the NSW Government and as such Council will be working with the community to meet the Crown Land licensing arrangements around these changes,” Mr Scarpin said.
A recent report in the local media suggested the resolution for a weekly market will apply to the SCPA Farmers’ Market once a licensing agreement has been signed by both parties.
The story did not mention the requirement for any agreement to be approved by the NSW Minister for Lands, and as such the opportunity for a weekly market may require Council to call for expressions of interest from all prospective users.
“While the SCPA markets have our support, we are bound by the requirements of the land owner, and our staff are currently working with the NSW Government to confirm the process required to get a weekly market up and running.
“We are working closely with all parties, and the community will be informed of any developments. For the time being, however, the SCPA markets will continue to operate every second Friday between 8am and 1pm until a licence agreement has been co-signed and approved by the NSW Government,” Mr Scarpin said.