Local politicians are to consider allowing market stalls outside a Finsbury Park school to ward off illegal trading and anti-social behaviour.
It follows a history problems with large numbers of visitors to the area at weekends, including one incident in which a case of excrement was pushed through a nearby resident’s letter box.
It is hoped that the official market pitches will deter unofficial ones from springing up near the car boot sales held at Grafton School.
The council’s street trading team suggested the move to allow stalls on Bowman’s Mews between 9am and 5pm on weekends.
Most customers use the Hercules Gate entrance to get to the weekend markets, rather than the main entrance on the Holloway Road.
A Town Hall report recalled that, until 2016, “the large level of footfall in Hercules Place attracted anti-social behaviour that included unlicensed illegal street traders in Hercules Place and Bowman’s Mews”.
It added: “Despite periodic operations by Street Trading, some traders persisted in attempting to trade illegally (despite several signs on the walls of buildings explaining the legal position).
“This included openly drinking alcohol, littering, spitting, urinating, dumping and in one extreme case excrement posted through a resident’s letter box.”
This led to “very high police presence” at weekends.
In April 2016, the market operator, the school, the police, the town centre management, councillors and public protection got together to discuss ways to tackle the issue.
They suggested putting two or three stalls in Bowman’s Mews and Hercules Place and policing the area to deter any anti-social behaviour.
Since then Islington Council has suspended parking bays on market days, but the report said “a permanent solution is long overdue”.
The report went on: “It was hoped that by having a small number of traders located in the street overseen by staff from the market, it would help deter any illegal traders and the market operator would be able to move off any illegal traders thus relieving over stretched council resources.”
The licensing committee will look at the scheme at its meeting on 11 January.
It won support from the Nag’s Head Town Centre Management Group, which told the council: “The temporary designation has successfully helped the council and its partners, especially the management of the weekend market in the Grafton School playground, tackle longstanding illegal street trading activities in the area.”
One objector was unhappy with the idea, saying: “I believe this will encourage illegal traders in Bowman’s Mews and Hercules Place et cetera, which is a major problem for residents for many reasons.”