TRADERS at Bideford farmers’ market are angry over a technical ruling which means they cannot set up stalls within 2.9 metres of a convenience store.
However, the leader of Torridge District Council described the issue as “fuss over nothing.”
It took stall holders more than a year to establish the winter market on Jubilee Square.
Torridge District Council have told traders they are not allowed to set up their stalls within 9ft of McColls store because of a covenant on the piece of land running alongside.
Dan Garnett, chairman of Bideford farmers’ market association, is concerned less space will impact on trade.
He said: “We can still trade but with less space. I am sure a lot of people will be dismayed. We hope a compromise can be made.
“The loss of approximately 20 per cent of the area means we cannot have as many stalls in the square and will have to block off one of the entrances.”
Philip Collins, leader of Torridge District Council said there had a been a misunderstanding.
He said: “I do believe it’s a big fuss over nothing. Yes there has been a misunderstanding over the leasing agreement and covenants on some of the land.
“But at the end of the day we all want the farmers’ market to be a success.”
Mr Collins said with some reorganisation traders can still make use of the whole square.
He said: “We have bent over backwards to work with the newly formed Farmers Market Association.
“Footfall in Bideford increases when they are in town so other local permanent businesses benefit too. Let’s just get on with it.”
The farmers’ market takes place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
Bideford farmers' market association pay £50 per day to pitch up in the square.
Mr Garnett, otherwise known as Dan the Fishman, said issues with space meant traders did not take as much money.
He said: “This is a great little town and I am proud to be part of it.
“We would like to thank many of the our local councillors and others who have been trying to resolve this unfortunate situation.”
Mr Garnett said traders only want to have a presence in the square for eight hours a month.
He said: “I would like to see common sense prevail and am sure with the support of Bideford people we can find a compromise an a way forward.
“We only want to sell our produce.”
The next market will take place on Saturday, October 26 from 9am-1pm.