IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

New market at Nag’s Head divides residents

Residents’ fears over late-night noise as application to sell alcohol is submitted to council as part of Nag’s Head scheme

30 November, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Councillor Gary Heather speaking at the Nag’s Head meeting on Monday

RESIDENTS have hit out at plans for a new food market in Holloway, raising fears for existing traders and concern over extra noise and anti-social behaviour.

But the founders have promised a “good environment where people can sit together and enjoy all kinds of food”.

Around 20 residents who live near Nag’s Head market gathered at a meeting on Monday night where detailed plans for the new food hall dubbed “The Upper Place” were revealed for the first time.

Simone Moroni, who is behind the market project, said there would be 17 new food stalls in the unused mezzanine space and five new stalls downstairs.

Mr Moroni has submitted an application to the council asking for a licence to sell alcohol, which may be consumed on or off the premises, until midnight during weekends and until 11pm on weekdays. He has also asked for permission to play live and recorded music at the venue until half-past-midnight at weekends.

Ward councillor Gary Heather spoke of his concerns about the new market at the meeting. He told Mr Moroni: “You have a lot of questions to answer.”

Cllr Heather added: “If you’re going to be playing live or amplified music you’re going to have a lot of opposition.

“You haven’t addressed the licensing objectives of the council. We already have a lot of anti-social behaviour in the area, Deliveroo drivers and a lot of drug crime.

“Quite frankly, if it’s going to cause a nuisance we don’t want it.”

The market opened in its current form in 1992 and houses a variety of food stalls from Somalia to Japan, alongside stalls selling clothing, antiques and vegetables.

Mr Moroni reassured residents that his new market was “not going to be a nightclub or anything like that”.

He said: “It will be background music to entertain the customer. It won’t be a DJ set or strong music.”

He added that they were currently deciding where delivery drivers picking up food from the market would park to avoid disturbing residents.

Cllr Heather suggested that the main exit for the new market should be in Seven Sisters Road to avoid disturbing residents living near the proposed exit in Hertslet Road.

Resident Helena McKeown, who lives near the market, spoke of her concerns over how the character of the current market might change with the new food hall, which will have a maximum capacity of 430 people.

She said: “What commitments will be in place so the current traders won’t be pushed out? How are you making sure that the market can serve the local community with affordable meat, fish and vegetables in the long term? Eventually people might be pushed out with prices going up.”

She added: “This is an important market area for people who live here and that must not be disturbed.”

Mr Moroni insisted he was “not forcing people out at all and all the current traders are staying”. He said the new traders would be asked to buy produce from the existing stallholders.

“It’s essential for us to work with the local community and the residents,” he added.

Speaking after the meeting, which at times became heated, Sonu Sethi, who manages the existing market site, told the Tribune that residents “shouldn’t be worried about anything”.

He added: “We will leave it as a traditional market. We are adding a bit more of a food area.”

Residents have until December 5 to respond to the licensing application at by emailing licensing@islington.gov.uk

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