THE Tatton Estate has spoken out against a petition to stop a 6-week Christmas Market being staged on the Heath branding it ‘misleading’.
Last week, the Guardian reported that Gaskell Avenue resident Sarah Ganczarksi had started a petition to stop the proposed Mistletoe Markets from being held on the Heath.
The petition has secured 700 signatures online and on paper to date.
The Tatton Estate, who joined forces with Wilmslow-based Living World Events to create the market plans, has reacted to the issues outlined in the petition by posting a comprehensive response on Change.org.
The estate said: “It is great to see such support for Knutsford by both the local community and far beyond. Unfortunately however, this petition is misleading to say the least.”
The Tatton Estate goes on to address issues raised in the petition–namely the temporary loss of green open space and potential loss of trade for existing businesses – and highlight the positive affects the market could have on the town.
It added: “The Heaths are not under threat. Full stop. The Heaths are privately owned by the Tatton Estate who take great pride in preserving and conserving them – as well as numerous other facilities that Knutsfordians enjoy such as the Moor pool, the Heritage Centre, the Football Club and Sports Club among others.
“No private organisation does more for Knutsford in terms of providing and maintaining facilities and heritage assets.”
The Tatton Estate also stated that, unlike larger events in Tatton Park (not part of the Tatton Estate), the market’s proposed location on Little Heath is closer to existing businesses and therefore would encourage more people into the town, ‘whilst minimising disruption to traffic’.
It continued: “The estate is a major owner of retail and residential property in Knutsford Town Centre. It simply would not be in the Estate’s interest to promote an event if it thought it would damage trade or residents’ interests.
“The estate share Living World’s confidence that it will be extremely well planned and organised and as a result a huge asset for Knutsford to be proud of.”
The Tatton Estate was also keen to point out that ‘no details are yet fixed’ and that the event proposals were announced in March to give 10 months for planning and preparation in consultation with the community and businesses.
In conclusion, the Tatton Estate stated: “We are delighted to see so much interest and hope people will take the time to attend the series of information and consultation sessions about the Mistletoe Markets once rescheduled. Please get into the Christmas Spirit, get involved and make them a great success for all involved.”
The Tatton Estate’s petition response in its entirety can be seen at tattonestate.com
Postponement of Mistletoe Markets counsultation dates
A Living World Events representative told the Guardian that the March 21 consultation had to be postponed, along with the consultations scheduled for March 27 and March 29, as Living World Events’ owner Jemma Gilmartin has been taken ill.
The spokesperson said: “We apologise to the local community for delaying the meetings but, as Jemma has been leading the public consultation on behalf of the proposed Mistletoe Market, we are awaiting news regarding Jemma’s health before we reschedule these events.
"We are hoping to continue with the retailers meetings on the 1st and 7th April but we will keep the local communities informed as to whether these will still take place.
"I’m sure that everyone will join us wishing Jemma a speedy recovery and we look forward to working with the local community about this exciting opportunity on going.”