Just days out from the first Thornton Markets of 2017, unexpected news from Penrith Council has forced the event to close effective immediately.
The news came as a “big surprise” to organiser Katrina James, who first heard about the decision after receiving a phone call from a vendor.
On Wednesday morning, Ms James was told that because she did not have an approved Development Application (DA) for the food stalls and noise, Thornton Markets could no longer run.
“They said because the DA isn’t officially in, that’s it,” she said.
“They said if we do trade, they will fine them. It’s a huge risk to the vendors… the food is an integral part of what we do.”
Ms James said she has been already been knocked back on a DA twice, the most recent at the end of last year.
“Two weeks after they said everything was fine, they said, ‘actually you now need this noise check done’,” she said.
“How can I do a noise check without holding another market?”
A spokesperson from Penrith Council told the Weekender that they are supportive of the markets, but their concern was the noise on nearby residents.
“Council has been working with the organisers of Thornton Markets for the past eight months and has been issuing conditional consent on the provision that a DA was forthcoming,” he said.
“Council suggested alternatives to mitigate noise on residents, however the operators have indicated they wish to remain trading under their current arrangements.”
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.