A market trader who has had a stall on the same spot for more than twenty years, has been told he will have to move to make way for a new gym entrance.
Yassine Melki relies on the income from his bedding and soft furnishings stall in Moncrieff Place, Peckham, to support his wife and three children and is worried that moving his pitch away from bordering Rye Lane will drastically reduce the footfall passing his business.
Southwark Council has recently granted planning permission to convert the top floor of the building next to Moncrieff Place – which houses Sports Direct on the ground floor – into a gym.
The applicant, Meteor Investments, has requested a new customer entrance be placed right where Yassine’s stall currently stands – meaning he would have to move half way up Moncrieff Place towards the cinema and away from the busy thoroughfare.
The application states this is necessary to make the shopfront visible and provide disabled access to the facilities.
“I’m really worried about my income in the future,” said Yassine, who has started a petition to object to his pitch being moved.
“I’ve got a wife and three children and I’m supporting my mum – what is going to happen now? I’m so worried,” he said.
Yassine and fellow stall holder, Elaine Carrigan, who sits on the Rye Lane Traders Association, are now gathering as much support as they can before his case goes before Southwark Council’s licensing committee on September 1.
Within a week of starting the petition outside his stall, Yassine had already collected a thousand signatures and says he has been overwhelmed by the support he has had from the local community.
“It feels so good that people have been so supportive,” said Yassine, who is hoping the licensing committee will overturn the decision of a planning officer who recommended the stall be moved as it would present an “inconvenient partial obstruction to gym users.”
To sign Yassine Melki’s online petition, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/retain-the-market-stall-pitch-at-moncrieff-place-in-peckham