Barnstaple Pannier Market will be shut at night for the first time this week as measures to protect it from anti-social behaviour come into effect. The pannier market will be protected by a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) from Thursday, with owner North Devon Council (NDC) closing the doors each evening at 6pm and reopening them at 5am each morning. New fire doors have been installed to close the connecting path from Market Street to Butchers Row. NDCs executive member for community safety, Councillor Pat Barker, said it was the councils only option. There has been a long history of anti-social behaviour in the market at night, with drinking, vandalism and intimidation becoming more and more frequent, she said. This behaviour also spills out into the town and we have had lots of concerning reports from business on Butchers Row and Market Street. The decision to install new fire safety doors and keep the building locked at night was really our only option. The council began exploring the idea of a PSPO back in June 2016 to prevent undesirable activities. It said feedback from neighbouring businesses, market users and the public was overwhelmingly supportive of the plans. Chairman of the Pannier Market Traders Committee, Carolyn Read, said: Weve been waiting for this day for 20 years and all the traders are pleased with this decision. It means that the market will be secure and traders wont have to come in and clean up a terrible mess every morning. We would like to thank Councillor Des Brailey and all those who have helped bring this to fruition. NDCs economic development manager Ellen Vernon said the move was good news for traders after a rise in anti-social activity this winter. This winter has been worse than any of the previous winters, so clearly its a trend thats escalating over time, all the more reason for us to get on with it and make sure the market is protected. It means good things for the traders. When they come in in the morning it means theyre not having to work around mess thats been left from the night before, which may include vomit, drugs paraphernalia and broken glass. Its just a much safer and nicer environment for everybody. The PSPO will not affect authorised evening events at the market, and now it is protected, the council hopes to make more use of it on evenings and weekends for events and community use.