Protest to 'stand up' for Princes Street Gardens takes place after Edinburgh Christmas Market row

Group of protesters took to the streets earlier today.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 10:28 am

A protest against the use of Princes Street Gardens for commercial events took place in Edinburgh earlier today.

The protest, organised by Stewart Syme, saw around 15 people gather at St Andrew Square before heading to the Christmas Market in the gardens.

Sparked by the row over the market's lack of planning permission, Mr Syme described Underbelly as "riding roughshod over rules and regulations".

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Protesters against the Christmas Market.
Protesters against the Christmas Market.

Prior to the protest Mr Syme said: "To those intending to support on Sunday, please be advised that the main point of those attending is a peaceful protest within the market.

"There is no intention to block or hinder access to the Christmas Market for the general public."

The Christmas Market has courted controversy this year after its large scaffold structure was revealed to not have planning permission, drawing criticism from across Edinburgh.

Concerns over the safety of the structure followed, with Underbelly insisting the scaffolding was safe and the design signed off by engineers and council officials.

Edinburgh Christmas market prior to opening

Further anger followed when memorial benches were found to have been dumped in a corner of the gardens to make way for the market.

The market opened on Saturday a couple hours later than planned after final inspections took place.

A spokesman for Underbelly said: "We look forward to welcoming the people of Edinburgh and visitors to Edinburgh’s Christmas. Happy Christmas."