A Chichester Christmas market ‘needs sensitivity’ from operator

An example of a Christmas market with wooden chalets (Planning application 19/01451/FUL)
An example of a Christmas market with wooden chalets (Planning application 19/01451/FUL)

The man who ran Chichester’s Christmas market for several years has said a new plan for chalet-style stalls would have to be managed ‘sensitively’.

Paul Bishopp, of Woodland Crafts, told the Observer earlier this year that he would not be re-running his market this year due to issues with licensing and other factors.

Read more here: Chichester’s Christmas market ‘could’ve been as big as Bath or Winchester’

Now the district council is applying to itself for permission to hold a four-week Christmas market from 2019 to 2021, with wooden chalet-style stalls.

Christmas market with chalets planned for Chichester’s shopping streets

Chichester BID and other stakeholders have voiced reservations that the chalets could impact on shop trade during the Christmas season but readers have responded with excitement to the plans.

Mr Bishopp said the idea of an expanded Christmas market closely resembled proposals he put forward to the district council himself two years ago and he still supported that vision.

But he stressed the design of the chalets would, to his mind, have to be much smaller in size to minimise the impact on shops, and the market would have to be organised very quickly to run well.

He said: “To put it together, the critical factor will be the professionalism of the operator, and there are a lot of operators who will do this sort of thing but few are sensitive to the environment they are in and Chichester is an extremely sensitive environment.

“For someone to come in cold will be a massive challenge.”

Would you support a longer Christmas market? Email news@chiobserver.co.uk