DEVELOPERS say a new plan for Greenwich Market improvements will preserve its character while making it a "lighter and brighter place to be".

Site owners Greenwich Hospital plan a new glass covering and lantern for the roof, restoration and relaying of the cobbles to make a more even surface, plus more retail space at the old vacant warehouse backing on to Durnford Street.

Fry's Court - currently a service yard - will become a new public space and will host hot food traders on busy days along with specialist events like Christmas markets.

The new planning application comes after a controversial redevelopment scheme which included building a 99-bed hotel on the site - likened to Bluewater by critics and subject to an appeal after being rejected by Greenwich Council's planning committee - was finally ditched in 2012.

Director of Greenwich Hospital Hugh Player said: "This will be an opportunity for Greenwich Hospital to make essential improvements to the market - particularly the replacement of the 1950s roof.

"It has given the hospital the opportunity to create accessible public open space, making a much more pleasant environment for visitors, retailers and traders in Fry’s Court, and to bring the historic buildings on Durnford Street back to life.

"We would like to encourage local residents to visit Greenwich on a regular basis, to spend time enjoying the delights of their town as well as the many UK and international visitors who visit the historic attractions of Greenwich.

"The enhancements will make the market a lighter and brighter place to be, and create lively new areas for people to eat, drink and shop, while preserving the unique historical character of the site."

Jon Eaglesham from project designers Barr Gazetas said: "We are designing improvements that sensitively enhance rather than wholeheartedly transform the area.

"They meet the needs of existing residents and retailers, and will attract international visitors while respecting the area’s extraordinary heritage.

"We have engaged with local sentiment and have produced a series of enhancements that Greenwich can be proud of."

The application is available to view on the Greenwich Council website.