‘I’ll fight to the end’ vows Peckham market trader of 20 years moved to make way for gym

Admin (15 October, 2015)

Yassine Melki fears his livelihood will be threatened by move

4843Yassine Melki outside his stall in Moncrieff Place

A market trader has vowed to “fight till the end” after Southwark Council voted to move his stall from 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 planning permission was granted to convert the top floor of the building next door into a gym, Yassine was told he would have to move his pitch away from the busy footfall of Rye Lane to make way for a new disabled entrance way.

Yassine collected over 3,000 signatures on a petition to stay put, but a decision was taken at the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee meeting last week to relocate his pitch.

“I’m really upset and disappointed,” said Yassine, who told the News he would “fight till the end” to keep his stall where it is, as he believes moving away from Rye Lane will threaten his business.

Corinne Turner, of the Rye Lane Traders’ Association, described the decision as “a sad reflection of a system that has been unable to look at the best way to design Moncrieff Place to meet the needs of all the stakeholders, and the diverse needs of town centre customers.”

The council report to the Licensing Sub-Committee said Southwark had published its intention to vary Yassine’s license in August and that the overall improvement of Moncrieff Place could increase footfall for traders in the vicinity.

“The Markets and Street Trading Strategy aims to ensure that markets are inclusive of all residents of the borough and meet all the criteria in the council’s equalities policy. The move of this pitch will have little impact on the community,” the report reads.

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