Proposals to massively increase rent prices at Greenwich Market, which traders warned could "kill off" the entire square in an "unreasonable and unjust move", looks set to be reversed.

It emerged at the end of August, following an investigation by the Guardian, that daily rent for traders could rise by as much as 60%, a rise which MP Matthew Pennycook warned would "mush many over the edge."

Council leader also raised concerns about the "ill thought-through proposals," and he, Greenwich Council councillors, representatives from Greenwich Hospital and Knight Frank, and traders met to discuss the controversy last night, September 1.

Cllr Thorpe, who chaired the public meeting, said he was "delighted" that Greenwich Hospital "have recognised this was a mistake and have tonight confirmed that all hot food traders who were subject to this increase will have the full amount refunded to them."

He described it was a constructive discussion covering a range of issues, and a "a welcome result for the traders."

"I’m hopeful we have found a way forward to ensure everyone is working to make Greenwich Market

thrive moving forward. It’s such a unique part of London - please support it in any way you can."

Under the plans, hot food stallholders had their rents increased by 30%, a figure already lowered from 60% following an outcry.

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The traders were already struggling in the face of fewer visitors, reduced stalls due to social distancing and a rota restricting the number of trading days for each trader.

Speaking to the Guardian, one stallholder said: "I’ve been losing sleep over this. The way we’ve been treated is disgusting.”

He said he and others were running at a loss despite having kept some staff on furlough after lockdown eased.

Shops around the edge of the market have had their rent deferred until October, but the owners say they were now just at risk of closure when the payments are due.

They were expected to pay the full amount owed for the last six months, despite being unable to open during over half that time, and at least one shop owner has said they would be forced to close as a result.

Knight Frank, the property firm that manages Greenwich Market on behalf of the landlord, the Greenwich Hospital, has said it has raised prices because the market is running "at a considerable loss" which "simply isn't sustainable."

Greenwich Market, which has been in operation since 1737, reopened following the UK-wide lockdown in July, but a number of measures are already working against stallholders.

The market has had to reduce the number of stalls operating to ensure social distancing, a rota system has been brought in which limits their number of trading days, and visitor numbers are heavily down.

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Cllr Thorpe said the council were also looking at other ways to support the trades at the market.