A popular farmers’ market in West Norwood was forced to close after Lambeth Council failed to support it, organisers have claimed.

Hundreds of shoppers would visit the fortnightly market on Norwood Road to buy fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, fish and juices.

But after a catalogue of problems – including stallholders being slapped with parking fines while unloading produce, and “excessive” fees to run the stall – its organisers M Farmers Markets, made the decision not to renew its contract this month.

Organiser Sandra Woodfall said: “We were being charged more than anywhere we operate in London.

This, as well as the fines we were receiving, meant traders did not feel welcome, and it was not worth their while to continue coming.

“Our customers are really angry because they loved being able to visit a local market.”

Lambeth Council charged £100 a time for the market to take place – while many London boroughs allow markets to operate for free.

She said it meant many traders were left out of pocket when they could make more money elsewhere.

She admitted the recession – and competition from supermarket chains moving into the area – had also been a contributing factor.

But Thurlow Park Councillor John Whelan said the town hall had driven the market from the area by “trying to squeeze blood out of a stone by demanding an excessive fee” and should have been encouraging traders to stay as they provided healthy eating options to residents.

The market was used by many estate agents in their marketing of the area.

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed the market had to close. This is a commercial organisation and as such cannot be heavily subsidised by local taxpayers. When we found out the market operator was struggling financially, we introduced a set monthly charge which significantly reduced the license fees – as we recognised the contribution the market made to the area.

“We are committed to supporting specialist markets like this and we are currently exploring options to see how we can bring more markets into the borough.”