Merton Council has shut the door on a Raynes Park car boot sale in a move its organiser claims will hurt the area's residents and football teams.

Steven Arnold runs the regular event at Prince George Playing Fields and the profit he makes goes towards the upkeep of the land, used by residents and local football clubs.

But he said future use of the fields could now be in jeopardy after he was told by a council officer to cancel all car boot sales under threat of legal action.

"There is nobody we are disturbing - we are a fixture of the local community. We have maintained that land for 10 years, cutting the grass and cleaning up the dog mess," he said.

He claimed he was told the reason for stopping the event was that he had put down 6ft by 8ft of paving and that the council refused to reconsider its decision even after he offered to rip up the offending concrete.

He also said the amount of traffic caused by the car boot sales was criticised by the council, but that this had been greatly reduced in recent months.

Mr Arnold said charity collections at the event brought in vital money for local good causes.

"In one day last year we raised £500 for the Royal Marsden, and we have helped the homeless and the RSPCA," he said.

Tony Hurrell, groundsman at the playing fields, said the loss of the car boot sale would have a huge impact on around 30 local football teams that use the playing fields every weekend.

"It's run for local people - we speak to them and go to meetings with them. The problems are not insurmountable," he said.

Mr Arnold has previously held around 14 car boot sales a year on the playing fields, each attracting around 200 sellers and 2,000 customers.

In September Mr Arnold applied for a licence to hold a much larger number of car boot sales on the site, which also hosts touring fairs and circuses, but his bid was turned down.

A spokesman for Merton Council said: "As a council, we have a duty of care to residents and visitors to Merton. The amount of traffic in Bushey Road on car boot sale days causes a potential road safety hazard for pedestrians.

"As well as ensuring people's safety, we are also keen to ensure that any activity has minimal adverse impact on the environment.

"Issues such as safety and environmental impact would be addressed when a planning application is received."