Rent costs force small traders out of business

I hope it is not too late to add my voice as an objector to the removal of the small traders in the Little London arcade.

The reason so many small traders have had to shut down in Chichester is the exorbitant rents charged by what I call ‘The City Fathers’, ie the owners of vast amounts of our city. The Butter Market has already been ruined and all the useful small traders put out of business by jewellers and yet more coffee houses.

Every day, it seems, we are deprived of butchers, bakers, greengrocers, linen mongers, fishmongers, cheap clothing stores, bookshops, and many more, which are replaced with a million eateries, posh restaurants and coffee houses.

Maybe this reflects the influx of a more affluent and idle population leading to the deprivation of traditional shopping facilities for the older of us on state pensions.

In the 1940s we fought for, and at last got a planning authority with teeth to prevent ribbon development, and to conserve good standards of house-building and architecture. The authority was then, and I hope now, moral and incorruptible.

There are other ways of getting over the social problems, and preserving a sense of the difference of the city of Chichester from, say, Brighton or Portsmouth, but that requires motives other than profits.

One very good thing that has been done recently is the upgrading of the New Park Centre.

PLEASE preserve Sadlers Walk (Little London to you). It really did not need its upgrading make-over – it was better and more vibrant as it was.

Barbara Watt

Jubilee Road

Chichester