Street traders could be allowed to use a large portion of the city’s central shopping area under plans being considered by the district council.
The city’s four main shopping streets and side-streets such as Canon Lane and Tower Street could be made into areas with automatic street trading consent under a review of street trading controls.
Chichester District Council cabinet members are due to consider the review at a meeting on Tuesday, October 1.
Currently, street trading is prohibited in most of the city centre, with exemptions for vendors such as Big Issue sellers, pedlars and charity collections.
Any other event or selling activity on the street itself, such as a market, requires specific trading consent to be granted by the council alongside any other permissions.
Now council officers are suggesting a loosening of that rule, subject to consultation with the BID and other partners.
Street trading would be allowed automatically in all of North Street, East Street and South Street, and along West Street as far as the Bell Tower.
Consent would also cover side streets including Canon Lane, Tower Street, Chapel Street alongside existing consent areas in Crane Street and St Martin’s.
A report to the cabinet noted a ‘desire from retailers and event organisers to potentially stage more events in areas of the city which they are currently unable to do so’.
It added: “The purpose of the re-designation is to provide diversity in the shopping facility offered in the city centre whilst providing support for businesses, and to increase trade and vibrancy into further areas of Chichester city centre.”
If agreed by cabinet, the motion to change the areas from ‘prohibited streets’ to ‘consent streets’ will be put to full council, and then a consultation of West Sussex County Council, Chichester City Council, Chichester BID and other district officers.
A report of consultee comments would be provided to Council on January 28 2020 seeking a final resolution.
At present, any street trading consent requires council approval and the publication of statutory notices and advertisements.