Council shuts down weekly village market because it is in breach of ...

A council has shut down a weekly village market started during lockdown because it is in breach of an 800-year-old Royal Charter prohibiting any market 'within 6.6 miles' of Loughborough. 

Local businesses started selling fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and flowers in the car park of The Free Trade Inn in Sileby, Leicestershire, every Tuesday.

But they have been threatened with possible legal action after Charnwood Borough Council ruled that they are breaking a medieval law.

Local businesses started selling fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and flowers at the market, above, in the car park of The Free Trade Inn in Sileby, Leicestershire, every Tuesday

Local businesses started selling fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and flowers at the market, above, in the car park of The Free Trade Inn in Sileby, Leicestershire, every Tuesday

A decree signed by King Henry III in 1227 prohibits any market 'within six and two-thirds miles' (10.8km) of nearby Loughborough.

Sileby is exactly 5.8 miles (9.3km) from the town and inside the area covered by the charter.

The council now say traders are breaching the royal statute which came into being 12 years after the Magna Carta was signed.

Greengrocer Steve Smith, 52, started selling in the car park to help locals who were unable to travel to Loughborough market which closed during the pandemic.

He said: 'We got permission from the pub landlord and the parish council was all for it. I started down on my own for a couple of weeks and then it got that successful I asked the landlord if he would mind another couple of stalls.

'We rang Charnwood Borough Council who initially agreed to it and they said no more nine stalls. Unfortunately, we didn't get it in writing. We got the nine and it became very successful.

'We followed the guidelines and now the government are asking for more pop up markets. 

They're pushing for them and we want to keep people shopping local and we want to keep them off the public transport as obviously, shopping outdoors is safer.'

He added: 'We checked all the boxes and I just can't understand why we've got we've got closed down so quick.

'We're 5.8 miles from Loughborough which is just inside the charter, but the government guidelines are asking for all the red tape to be cut.

'Boris Johnson is encouraging these markets to start. The local village shops claim they are 30 per cent up on sales on a Tuesday because it's keeping people in the village.

'I understand the charter is there because if it wasn't anybody could set up on any street corner. The hairdressers mentioned it to me and the flower shop. They both love it.'

The market in the pub's car park in Sileby, Leicestershire. The council now say traders are breaching the royal statute which came into being 12 years after the Magna Carta was signed

The market in the pub's car park in Sileby, Leicestershire. The council now say traders are breaching the royal statute which came into being 12 years after the Magna Carta was signed

Steve hopes the council will revoke their decision and use 'common sense' in granting a temporary license, with many elderly people relying on the market for food.

He added: 'It keeps people shopping local. I think it is a good idea and they need a bit of common sense.

'The support we have had has been absolutely fantastic. All the elders

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