A number of business are being ‘excluded’ from the new city centre market despite claims that the move would offer ‘a range of foods and goods’, according to traders.
The market began operating from its new location in East Street and North Street on Wednesday, August 17 – however, after only one day of trading, the cracks had already started to show.
Tony Bailey, a fishmonger for Shoreline Fish, has sold from the city’s market at the Cattlemarket for the past ten years.
However, because of the council’s restrictions on vehicles accessing the high street, he has been forced to sell from under a gazebo rather than his small van.
Tony said: “It’s completely unprofessional to expect me or any other fresh food retailer who requires refrigeration to work for 12 hours from a trestle table with ice.
“It is unsuitable and I am not able to provide the quality my valued customers deserve and the quality I pride myself in.”
Mr Bailey has announced that he will not be returning to trade on a Wednesday.
Prior to the unveiling of the new market, Brian Nunan, director of Bray Associates, which operates the market, said: “We believe the new market will offer something different to shoppers and complement the city’s current offer, with a range of foods and other goods.”
Despite this, Tony and a number of other fresh food retailers, have been left with no other option but to stop their Wednesday trading.
Tony added: “The council have known about the new market for about two years now.
“They had time to amend the laws to allow vehicles on the road for market days but they haven’t.
“If they want quality stalls on the market they need to allow vehicles on the high street.”
The market will continue to operate from the Cattlemarket car park every Saturday.
Other market traders have expressed their ‘disappointment’ in being left out of the market entirely.
Town and Country Meats has been selling from the market for more than 50 years, however, trader Jamie Malpass has been left ‘the last one standing’ at the old market location because of the vehicle restrictions.
Jamie said: “We are very disappointed that we have not been incorporated in the new market and that we cannot join the rest of the traders on the high street.
“We have been in the city market for decades, through my father, Tom Malpass, and his father before him.
“We were really excited when the opportunity arose to get some more revenue from being moved to a better location, however, because we operate from a van we have been excluded – we are now the last ones standing at the Cattlemarket car park on a Wednesday.”
Responding to the traders’ concerns, a spokesperson from Chichester District Council said: “Unfortunately, vehicles are restricted from the precinct during trading hours and changing this is not within our control.
“We have moved the market into the city centre on a trial basis in order to make the market more accessible.”
The CDC spokesperson added: “As part of this change, we have insisted that all traders operate using the same type of gazebo style stalls, so that the market is in keeping with the city centre.
“To overcome this problem, stallholders that require to chill their food use chiller cabinet counters.
“The market last week was very successful, however, we intend to work with stallholders such as Mr Bailey to try to work our way around any issues that arise.”