STALLHOLDERS are worried about a dramatic increase in rents once the move takes place from Castle Market – with just 29 of around 100 traders completing applications for the new building on The Moor.
The replacement market hall is under construction and is due to open in November.
Traders at Castle Market receive a 30 per cent discount due to the run-down state of the site.
Existing stallholders were asked to return forms packs by yesterday – although new applicants have a further month.
Sheffield Council has now extended the deadline for Castle Market stallholders to return their paperwork to March 22.
John Galley, of Slattery’s Butchers, said: “Most people are going to move but the question is how many will still be there after the first 12 months.
“We are being offered the first six months rent free and the second six months at half price but there are rates and service charges on top.
“Once that time is up, the full rents are ridiculous.
“I’m currently paying £680 a month including service charge, or just over £8,000 a year in total – which I know is next to nothing – but the rent will go up to £23,000 a year and, with service charge and rates on top, it will be £34,000.
“The stall I am applying for is the same size as at present so I don’t know why it is so much more expensive.”
But Ian Bingham, vice president of the Moor Market Traders’ Federation, said: “The delay in applications being returned is due to completing the paperwork and legalities surrounding application forms.
“Traders are glad they have been given the extra time and most are looking forward to the move.
“The lack of application forms which have been returned is not due to negativity about the new market.
“People are worried that the rent levels will be more but at the moment there is a 30 per cent discount and low numbers of customers.
“Some traders will not move because of retirement but I think most will move.”
Sheffield Council predicts the new markets will be much busier because of the Moor redevelopment and new TJ Hughes store opening next door to the market hall.
The council has borrowed much of the building cost.