Farmers’ market to go ahead after misunderstanding

Monica Faulkner hopes to rival the Edinburgh Farmers' Market
Monica Faulkner hopes to rival the Edinburgh Farmers' Market
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A NEW farmers’ market is ready to set up stall on Bruntsfield Links after almost being thwarted by crossed wires.

Businesswoman Monica Faulkner faced a string of objections from community councils and heritage bodies, which blasted “excessive” plans to open 50 stalls for seven hours a day, three days a week.

Community councils in Merchiston, Marchmont and Sciennes, along with Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, all submitted complaints after plans were unveiled to site the market on Leamington Walkway and cycle path.

City cycling group Spokes also lodged a protest.

Ms Faulkner, however, insisted today that the objections had stemmed from not being able to explain herself properly on her licensing 
application.

She said: “It has never been my intention to open the market for three days a week, every week. The misunderstanding has stemmed from the criteria requested on the application form. I only wished to open during the summer months on a Sunday and during the festive season on a Friday and Saturday – this resulted in me having to request opening hours for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“The form states ‘up to 50 stalls’. I can see where people might have thought it was excessive. We will only have 28 stalls and these will be offered to local traders for first refusal.”

Ms Faulkner, who runs Gulliver’s Toys in Bruntsfield Place, has also agreed to move the market away from the cycle route to another path nearby.

“The issue regarding the cycle path has also been resolved following a meeting with the head of the parks department,” she said.

The plan for the market comes in the wake of local traders’ failed bid to stop Sainsbury’s controversial takeover of independent deli Peckham’s in Bruntsfield Place in February.

Ms Faulkner said she was confident her plans would rival the weekly Edinburgh Farmers’ Market on Castle Terrace.

She added: “It’s ideal for elderly and young people who can’t make it there.”

Plans for the market, which are set to go before the city council licensing board on Friday, have now drawn support from local Green councillor Melanie Main, who said: “I feel that these objections have stemmed from the licensing application process.

“This seems to be a case whereby the information required by the council is pretty basic but in order to form an opinion you need to be more informed.

“Community councils are being asked for their opinions when they are only given half the information.”