NORTHWICH Outdoor Market is a step closer to being demolished after Cheshire West and Chester Council was given the green light to proceed from its insurers.

The shell of the fire-raved building offers a ‘sad reminder’ of the events of January 3, which saw traders lose thousands of pounds worth of stock because of the blaze.

But the council has now received approval from its insurers to proceed with a full demolition of the market.

Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “I know how important it is for residents and businesses around Weaver Square that the damaged market building is sensitively cleared as soon as possible.

“The building’s shell is a sad reminder of what happened earlier this year, but for businesses in the square and in the indoor market that will want to re-open following the lockdown, it is important that we are making good progress.

“During the pandemic, investigations on site were concluded and with approval from insurers, we are able to proceed to the next phase.

“We understand that this has been an extremely stressful and difficult time for traders, and we will continue to offer our support to them and keep them informed along the way.”

A planning application for the demolition phase has now been submitted and the council, along with its demolition team, is currently putting together a programme for the work, with details to be released in due course.

Both the indoor and outdoor markets form part of the Weaver Square masterplan, which is still in development.

The council says it will be engaging with both businesses and residents once in a position to do so and safe methods of engagement can be identified.

This will also help shape the medium and long-term options for the covered market site.