By Kelly Wickham
District councillors have agreed to designate more areas in the city centre for street trading.
The news comes just days after a survey by the city council showed residents in Chichester said they would like to see more entertainment as reported in last week’s Chichester Post.
At a full council meeting on Tuesday afternoon, district councillors debated the existing street trading restrictions after a consultation had finished.
Street trading is currently prohibited within the city centre, other than the pedestrianised areas of East Street, North Street and Crane Street and the part of St Martin’s Street from its junction with East Street northwards to adjacent 4 St Martin’s Street.
A consultation took place between October 28 and November 22 last year with support from the city council and Chichester Cathedral, looking at new areas including South Street.
No comments were received after a notice of intention setting out the council’s aim to pass such a resolution was published.
At the meeting, councillors agreed for officers to proceed with changing selected streets in Chichester city centre to approve the street trading with effect from April 1.
The city’s mayor, Cllr Richard Plowman, asked why Little London car park was not included.
He said: “The latest consultation we have had on Chichester’s Neighbourhood Plan suggests that something like 83 per cent would support more temporary uses for outdoor events in the city. This is the first stage of that.
“There have been so many places in the country where they have actually turned all the city streets into part of an event. This can be part of revitalising the city centre and bringing people in.
“I am very supportive of this, but I wonder, having looked at the map, whether or not Little London car park could be included in this street trading, which would form a very good
Cllr Tony Dignum, former district council leader from 2015 to 2019, agreed with Cllr Plowman that adding closing the car park permanently would improve air quality and help to tackle climate change.
He said: “I would go further than Cllr Plowman. I think we have to accept the Little London car park is a dangerous and unpleasant contribution to air pollution and we should be shutting it at the earliest opportunity and replacing it with a permanent market place.
“We have got to realise that climate change and air quality are matters that require pain to be accepted and pain will include the closure of the car parks that are encouraging traffic where they should not be allowed.”
It was agreed that officers undertake the necessary steps to vary the existing designations to include the following areas:
- From the end of the pedestrianised area at 65 North Street to the junction with the A286 Northgate gyratory
- Guildhall Street, from North Street to Priory Lane
- From the end of the pedestrianised area of East Street to the junction with East Walls
- From 4 St Martin’s Square to 14 St Martin’s Square
- Jays Walk
- Little London, from East Street to 39 Little London
- West Street from The Cross until the junction with Tower Street
- Tower Street up until The Woolstaplers
- Chapel Street up until The Woolstaplers
- South Street from The Cross until the junction with Theatre Lane
- West Pallant to the corner to 14 West Pallant
- Cooper Street from, 63 South Street to 3 Cooper Street
The city council said in their letter of support: “Councillors were pleased to note that there was no automatic approval to the proposed new areas (on the basis that the district council approves them) and that consultations would occur if an application for street trading was submitted and that such application would be considered on a case by case basis.”
Councillors at Tuesday’s meeting agreed to progress proposals to allow street trading in the Little London car park.
Officers stated that in order to achieve diversity in the shopping facilities and an enhanced visitor experience when in Chichester city centre, it was hoped the proposal would increase trade and vibrancy into some of the city’s side streets.