Wandsworth councillors have urged Southside shopping centre to reconsider a decision to move several street food vendors from the premises. 

The shopping centre owns the pavement in front of the Wandsworth High Street entrance, which has allowed stalls from StreetCube, a sustainable food market, to trade over the pandemic. 

However, six of the gazebo stalls must leave the town piazza at the end of August following complaints that they have taken business away from other retailers.

SEE MORE: StreetCube chefs 'forced out' of Southside shopping centre

The decision has prompted Wandsworth’s cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment, Cllr Morgan, to issue a written plea for Southside’s bosses to reconsider.

He said it was a "great shame" that a venture which has "supported a number of small businesses and brought pleasure and variety to the town centre could be curtailed."

In his letter, Cllr Morgan wrote: “A number of people have contacted me to share their concerns about changes that are apparently going to be made in relation to some of the businesses that are currently trading outside the front of the SouthSide shopping centre.

Wandsworth Times: Southside Shopping CentreSouthside Shopping Centre

“Allowing businesses to trade in this area in the first place was a fantastic initiative, so I would like to thank you for making that decision. However, I understand that there is growing concern from a number of residents because different options for how this space is to be used in the future are being considered, with their fear being that a number of businesses will be told to vacate this space.

“At a time when we know that many residents do not want to meet with others in indoor settings, and also during a time when many businesses are still struggling owing to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, it would feel like a great shame if any of these businesses were removed or relocated.

“I’m sure that the council’s Economic Development Office would be happy to enter into discussions with you if there’s anything practicable we can do to help support this ongoing initiative." 

On Tuesday, Southside shopping centre told the Wandsworth Times, that it had to take into consideration all brand partners.

A spokesperson for Southside shopping centre, said: “We have a temporary agreement with StreetCube which covers their original three units and we want to clarify that we have not asked for these to be removed.

“During lockdown, StreetCube added several additional pop-up gazebos without formal consent and outside of the agreement, we have in place. Since retail and leisure is now fully open, we must consider the impact that these additional pop-ups are having on our other brand partners. As the landlord, we are responsible for ensuring that all our brand partners are able to flourish.

“Unfortunately the high number of these additional pop-ups are restricting visibility and access to some of our brands which is having a detrimental impact on footfall and ultimately their business. For this reason, we have asked StreetCube to remove those pop-ups that do not form part of our agreement with them.

“Southside has always hosted pop-up food stalls operated by local independent traders and this will continue to be available for the traders to apply, while running in a manner that reflects the constraints of the site and in line with the agreements we have in place with all of our brand partners.”