Food market’s desire for three-year extension met with complaints about noise, smell and ‘vermin’

Cowcross Street Plaza Market. Photograph: Islington Council.

A street food market in Islington is seeking three additional years of serving “specialist food” in the area, though residents in the area oppose the idea.

Shepherds Markets have been running the Cowcross Street Plaza Market since 2016, and applicants DTZ Investors are now seeking to use the small Farringdon for a food market of up to 13 stalls for three days a week from Tuesday to Thursday to serve “a diverse choice of fine, British and international food”.

However, council documents show residents arguing that “there is no basis for setting up a market in this area”, and are complaining of noise, smell and even “vermin” from the operation of the street food stalls, which neighbours say threaten a private area which could otherwise be used for “relaxing and walking the dog”.

Islington’s planning department is broadly supportive of a market continuing to trade in the area, with a Town Hall report reading: “The council’s local policies are supportive of markets that continue to provide additional retail/service function to a town centre.

“Street markets add to the character of local areas. [Our policy] states that the council will seek to maintain existing traditional street markets. It highlights markets as popular with shoppers and visitors due to their vibrancy and range of goods to offer.

“[Our policy also encourages] tourist related development that promotes visitor economy, [and] states that Islington will continue to have strong cultural and community provision with a healthy retail and service economy providing a good range of goods and services for the people who live, work and study in the borough.”

Officers point out that Cowcross Street has been a market area for centuries, with Smithfield Market in existence by 1123, with a separate cow market with a market cross after which Cowcross Street is named.

Councillors will decide on the application on 16 July.