Council wants to work with Chichester businesses

COUNCILLORS moved to quell the debate over A-boards by saying they wanted to work with traders to improve the city’s street scene.

In a statement, Chichester District Council said it wanted to protect the character and appearance of the conservation area and encourage more people to visit the historic city.

“The move is aimed at making pavements safer and clutter-free for all and enhancing the historic environment of the city,” said a council spokeswoman.

The statement confirmed the council would be writing to businesses to ask for their cooperation to remove any A-boards which do not have consent and looking at different ways traders within the conservation area can be promoted.

“This could include granting consent for some A-boards, provided suitable locations can be agreed, or displaying hanging signs in side streets,” said the spokeswoman.

Carol Purnell, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We are fully supportive of local businesses and want to make sure they continue to thrive.

“We want to work with them over the coming months to look at alternative ways of promoting their businesses within the city centre.

“We also understand that planning is not always straightforward and so we are keen to support businesses through this process.

“However, we also want to protect the city’s historic character so that it is clutter-free and remains a leading visitor destination to be enjoyed by everyone.

“It will also make sure that everyone, including those with disabilities, can use the pavements safely and without risk.”

The council has listed a number of ways in which it wants to work with businesses including:

Providing guidance on shop front signs, which can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/utilities/action/act_download.cfm?mediaid=335.

Making it easier to apply for advertisement consent by providing the service online at www.chichester.gov.uk.

Working with the City Centre Partnership to look at advertising options and to promote the city as a shopping destination.

Providing further support through its economic development team. They can be contacted on 01243 534669 or further information can be accessed through www.chichester.gov.uk/business.

At a planning meeting in August, members voted to approve taking legal action on traders who refused to remove A-boards.

The City Centre Partnership said it hoped to find a way to compromise between the needs of mobility groups and traders.

More information on advertising can be found by calling the council’s planning team on 01243 534734.