Traders in Ridley Road Shopping Village have spoken of their delight after a planned eviction last Friday of all stall holders from the Dalston indoor market was cancelled at the last minute.
Over 20 stall owners will now be able to trade until at least Christmas after support from Philip Glanville, the Mayor of Hackney, who intervened with Rainbow Properties Ltd, the management company that owns the building.
Christine Nutley, a trader in Ridley Road Market Village said: “We are just delighted because we can trade until Christmas, which is important to us in the jewellery trade; that is one of our most lucrative times of the year.”
Glanville said: “The way traders at Ridley Road Shopping Village have been treated by their management company is appalling, and I am pleased to hear that, following my correspondence with them, the owners of the building have now stepped in.
“This feels like a significant result for all of us supporting the market, but the details of the offer are still vague. I will be meeting with the owners early next week to seek assurances that traders will be able to remain in the Shopping Village until at least the end of the year, as they were originally told. I will be pushing for longer and better, more supportive management.”
Chris and Christine Nutley, owners of Raffles Jewellers, have been traders of the Ridley Road Shopping Village for over 35 years, being in the building since it was first opened.
Christine explained to EastLondonLines how other traders “are obviously delighted as well”, since they do not have to worry about finding extra storage and the loss of profit.
“Unfortunately, some people already left, but this might encourage them to come back if they are able to, and that could even mean staying longer, because, who knows?
“It’s better to have a building trading rather than having it empty until such planning permissions are granted to build the luxury flats and shops.”
Christine added: “There was a meeting with the developers last Friday and they said that security was going to be put in the Shopping Village and they were going to be talking with individual traders some day this week.”
“We had bought stock to cover the holiday, so we were going to lose on making a profit with that, and whatever profit we would’ve done in the future, so that’s how it was affecting us right now and in the long term.”
“Whether it’s just up to Christmas or not however, we are not sure, it was talked to be a six months’ license for each trader, so we’ll have to wait and see to be honest, but still it is great news and we feel very happy and positive about the Shopping Village’s current situation.”
Although Christine went through a hard time, she believes that other traders had it worse: “We’re sort of in our retirement age, and my husband’s thinking now of retiring, so it was not that bad for us.
“But there’s people here who still have their families to maintain, rent and mortgages to pay, and now feared to lose their source of income. They were also not given a place to store their stock.
“The store next door has a shop selling furniture and could not find somewhere to place things for the moment, so he was definitely in a worse position than we were.”
“We were given notice to be out by the end of the year, which most of the people here, and ourselves, accepted.
“We then received a letter on the 11th of October telling us to leave in two weeks, the 26th of October, and it was blow for all of us.”
The eviction was due to take place on 29 December in order to turn the indoor market into luxury homes and shops.
The date was changed to Friday 26 October after “numerous allegations of antisocial behaviour”, according to the owners who obtained a Community Protection Notice from the police.
Letters were written to the council and a petition was started to stop the closure, since Christmas season is one of the most important times in the Shopping Village. The eviction would mean loss of profit and stock that was already bought.
However one trader did say: “There are many problems in the indoor market; especially with drugs.”
Christine agreed that Dalston has problems with drugs, but said that she did not think it was fair to close the market for this reason: “There’s antisocial behavior everywhere in London, not just Dalston, and definitely not just in this indoor market,” she said.
Rainbow Ltd was contacted by EastLondonLines but did not reply to the request.