TK Maxx ‘lined up’ for Little London

What Little London would look like as a single unit
What Little London would look like as a single unit

TK MAXX stands waiting in the wings to move into Little London Walk, after another business moved out recently.

The shopping area is now only accessible from East Street, with Whitby’s camera shop the sole occupiers.

Zigzag left last week and is now entirely based at its new South Street store.

Chichester’s city centre manager Kim Long told a meeting of Chichester’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday that the shoe shop held out for a while after being offered an ‘extremely generous package’ by the landlord to leave, but added: “It was only going to be a matter of time.

“As far as I’m aware, TK Maxx are still lined up to move into it.”

Councillors joined city centre partnership chairman Andrew Finnamore in expressing sadness at the demise of the shopping precinct formerly known as Sadlers Walk.

“I share your regret that we’re losing those small spaces for businesses that’s been such a feature of Chichester commercial life,” said councillor and former mayor Alan Chaplin to Mr Finnamore.

A planning application has also been made to turn first-floor offices in the building into flats.

Mr Finnamore said he regretted the demise of the shopping area, but said the landlord had decided his money was ‘better spent’ with one larger store being created.

“It’s very difficult to stop these things happening,” he said.

“The danger is, as we all know, that once it’s gone it’s gone – it’s very difficult to rewind that clock.”

Director of Whitby’s Mike Repp said the business had come to an agreement with the Little London Walk owner, whereby the camera shop would expand across the whole East Street frontage in the coming months and remain there into 2015.

Meanwhile, development will continue at the northern end of the shopping arcade.

“The landlord recognised we had a lease and has helped us,” he said.

“It was better for the high street – rather than seeing empty shops, the whole of the front will be Whitby’s.”

He said in 2015 the shop would continue trading in a separate building in the city centre.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Kim Long added she felt Little London’s fate was sealed once the post office moved out, taking a lot of footfall with it.

“The post office was a big, big loss to Little London,” she said.

Mr Finnamore took the opportunity to call for more investment in Chichester’s side streets, such as Crane Street, St Martin’s Street, St Pancras and the Hornet.