A market trader has slammed the council for “putting the knife in” after bosses threatened to bill him for not clearing his stall.
Chesterfield’s historic market hall is to close this month for a £4m refurbishment and traders are due to move in to a temporary structure on October 12.
Martin Topley, who has run a DVD stall in the market for two years, said: “We’ve been messed about for over a year with will it happen or won’t it which makes it very difficult when you’re trying to run a business.
“After spending three day emptying my stall out I then tried to hand in the keys only to be told I need to empty everything out including carpet, slat walling and boarding - everything that was already in and up when I first moved in.”
He added: “I was then told if I failed to remove the items I would be charged by the council to remove them on my behalf.
“The council wonder why they are losing traders, talk about putting the knife in.”
Building work is set to start at the market hall on October 15 and will be complete next autumn.
But Mr Topley said he will not be relocating to the temporary structure as the unit offered to him is smaller than his previous stall.
He added: “The temporary build is not big enough for all of my stock and costs the same amount.
“I have had to re-locate to Sutton-in-Ashfield indoor market.”
But a spokeswoman for Chesterfield Borough Council said all tenants had been told they are responsible for removing all the fixtures and fittings, including slack boarding.
She added: “All our tenants have confirmed they are aware of this and have made arrangements to have this done except in one case.
“The council has located the temporary structure as close to the market hall as possible as this was the preference of our tenants and we have tried to accommodate all tenants needs during this transition period.”