A Christmas market with wooden chalet stalls is being planned by Chichester District Council but there are concerns it could obscure shops.
Chichester BID, the city council and the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee have all commented in support of a Christmas market in principle but expressed fears the chalets could impact on shopkeepers during their busiest time of the year.
READ MORE: Chichester businesses criticise ‘infinite foolishness’ of market for blocking South Street
There were also comments that permission should be granted for one year only, to gauge the impact of the market.
Responding to comments, the district council has said that the size and number of chalets has not yet been agreed and consideration would be given to all retailers.
Stalls would not obscure doorways or deliveries and the ambition was to increase footfall in the city centre, it said.
The district council’s own economic development service said the market would boost the local economy, although at present there was no way of quantifying that impact.
It noted it would be ‘extremely helpful’ for retailers ‘to be fully aware of the positioning of the chalets’ and consideration should be given to smaller shopfronts.
It comes after the man behind the Woodland Crafts Christmas market said he would not be returning to the city this year due to licensing issues.
Speaking to the Observer in March, Paul Bishopp said that he could have made the market ‘as big as Bath or Winchester’ with wooden chalets and an expanded market area, had he not been limited by a set-up time restraints and short-term licensing agreements.
See planning application reference 19/01451/FUL on the Chichester District Council planning portal.
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