A market trader delivered a petition of well over 2,000 signatures to the council on Tuesday, as he fights to keep his stall where it has stood for more than twenty years.
Yassine Melki supports his wife, three children and his mother from the proceeds of his bedding and soft furnishings stall in Moncrieff Place, Peckham.
After Southwark Council granted planning permission to convert the top floor of the building next door – which houses Sports Direct on the ground floor – into a gym, Yassine was told he would have to move his pitch away from the busy footfall of Rye Lane, closer to the cinema.
Meteor Investments, who applied to install the gym, requested a new customer entrance be placed right where Yassine’s stall currently stands to make the new shopfront visible and provide disabled access to the facilities.
Elaine Carrigan, who sits on the Rye Lane Traders’ Association and has a stall next to Yassine’s, has been helping him gather signatures ready to submit to the council to be considered by its licensing committee at a later date.
Within a week of starting the petition outside his stall, Yassine had already collected a thousand signatures and now has a grand total of 2,180.
“It feels so good that people have been so supportive,” Yassine told the News. “I am very grateful for all the support from local residents, workers and businesses.”