New Covent Garden Market in south London, the largest fresh produce market in the UK with an annual turnover of £500m, is to be redeveloped

The Covent Garden Market Authority has agreed a brief for the redevelopment of the market, which is opposite Battersea Power Station, to secure its future at the site and will search for a developer.

The authority, which has consulted market traders since the autumn on plans for the 56 acre (22 ha) site, says the market should grow by 18% to 625,000 sq ft (58,060 sq m) from its present 564,000 sq ft (52,400 sq m) to accommodate new traders and remain financially viable.

The design options for the scheme will be drawn up and will be presented to the public in the summer.

Baroness Brenda Dean, chairman of Covent Garden Market Authority, said: ‘We have created a brief from which the design team will start to assess potential development options for the future of New Covent Garden Market.

'As well as making sure that the market works for the tenants now and in the future, we also need to make sure that the market will be financially viable and so we will continue to consult and engage with tenants and other stakeholders throughout this project.’

New Covent Garden Market has been in existence for 800 years. It moved from the West End to Vauxhall in 1974.