Sunday markets are to be trialled outside the Royal Commonwealth Pool for six months despite a flood of concerns about potential traffic chaos at one of the Capital’s busiest leisure centres.
Up to 24 traditional stalls will be set up on the footpath from Dalkeith Road to the pool entrance steps each Sunday until the trial period ends in September.
The proposal was approved despite officials recommending the project on Dalkeith Road be refused because of traffic concerns, with a dozen objections to the application.
The decision is likely to anger community groups and pool management Edinburgh Leisure, which cited concerns over congestion, parking and road safety at the city site.
The plan has been put together by Edinburgh Markets proprietor Vicky MacDonald, who is behind the St Mary’s Market on Broughton Street, which has been running every Saturday since August 2011.
She said: “The tramworks on York Place have had a detrimental impact on the [Broughton Street] site and it looks terrible, plus fewer people are coming into town to shop because it is hard to park or even navigate through the diversions.
“An application was made to operate a market outside the pool to find a home for our traders on a Sunday.”
A request to extend the market’s trading licence to include Fridays and Saturdays during August and December was rejected.
Edinburgh Leisure cited the conflict of interest with the pool’s catering facilities and the loss of a fire assembly point among its reasons for objection, but declined to comment further on the matter.
Salisbury Road resident Jo Scott said the outdoor market was likely to distract drivers negotiating the busy junction of Holyrood Park and Dalkeith roads.
However, Conservative city centre Councillor Joanna Mowat said the objections were all things that could be “ironed out”. She added: “The markets can see if it’s viable. It may not be, but I think it’s worth a trial.”