Market boss in blast after KO
A continental market operator has vowed he will not be back to Kirkcudbright after his bid for a licence was turned down.
Ali Yaich, from Continental Market Ltd, had applied to set up stalls in the Harbour Square on more than 80 dates over the next three years, although he said he only planned to use a few.
On Tuesday, the council’s licensing panel turned down the application which Mr Yaich said was to renew a previous three-year licence he had been unable to use.
He said: “I think it is very unfair. I have been trying for four years and it has cost a lot of money and I will not be back to Kirkcudbright.
“It is £480 to apply for a licence and I live in Dunfermline so it is seven hours travelling each time. I have been down four times so that is 28 hours in lost wages.
“There was one councillor who said they need the car park for local people and for tourism because they have just renovated the gallery.
“I am only looking to hold it once or twice a year for two or three days but they said no, they needed the car park.
“I suggested a grassed area beside the car park which is only one metre away but they said no.”
Concerns had been raised because a number of the dates Mr Yaich had applied for clashed with parts of the Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities’ programme, including events such as the floodlit tattoo.
The festivities, Kirkcudbright Forum and the community council all objected to the proposals.
Local councillor Patsy Gilroy, who is on the panel, said the number of dates Mr Yaich had applied for was one issue as well as the location.
She said: “It was felt it wasn’t the right place for a continental market in Kirkcudbright.
“We are not against the idea. There are other places he could use, such as the car park at the marina, the car park at Daar Road and the Johnston school but he hadn’t applied for a licence for them.
“We need that area to facilitate parking now the gallery is open. We haven’t spent £3 million on the gallery to make it difficult for people to park when they get here.
“It was also difficult because he was looking at a lot of dates over the next three years but said he didn’t plan to use them all. That wasn’t particularly helpful.
“He said there are other events such as the vintage car rally that use it but they only have it for half a day or a day and we can manage that.”