Shocked food traders at Greenwich Market were told on Tuesday night that the management would be cutting the number of stalls allowed to sell food.
Market traders were "stunned" as landlords, Greenwich Hospital, dropped the "bombshell" at a routine meeting that they wished to "reduce the offering" at the market. Currently between 20-25 traders sell food at the market over the weekends.
One market trader who was present at the meeting told Greenwich.co.uk he was now expecting to be given one month's notice .
"It's like being told you’ve got cancer and you’ve got a month to live", he said.
The trader, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that "Greenwich Hospital has built us up" but are now treating traders like "their playthings".
Edward Dolby, Resources Director at Greenwich Hospital, told Greenwich.co.uk that no trader had been given notice to quit but that they do plan to "rationalise the hot food offer in the market which has been allowed to expand progressively in recent years".
The management is proposing renovating the old George II unit within the market - expected to take a couple of months to complete - and making it available for six food traders for up to six days a week "if there is sufficient demand".
Dolby adds, "Nothing will be done precipitately or without prior consultation and whatever is decided, high quality hot food will continue to be a significant feature of Greenwich Market".