Observer readers have their say on Chichester’s House of Fraser building


With the Chichester branch of House of Fraser closing, Chichseter Observer readers have been debating what should happen with the now vacant building.

In a lively discussion on Facebook, inspired by a reader’s letter saying it should be a concert hall, there were numerous suggestions to use the site for a variety of purposes.

Some people were in agreement that it should be converted into an entertainment venue in some form, be that a performance venue or a club.

One popular alternative suggestion from a number of readers was for Primark to move into the building. Wendy Schmidt said: “We do need a Primark in Chichester. Would bring loads of jobs and for people to come back into the city centre, which would increase trade in the town. The church needs to listen to the people of Chichester. There would be plenty of space to make something for the homeless as well.”

Another retailer that was suggested was a Hobbycraft to serve the many creative people in the city, while Alyssa La Volpicella said that Marks and Spencer should consolidate that other stores in the city into the one venue.

Others were keen on it providing more of a community function. Vicky Middleton said it should be an ‘emporium for small local businesses that can’t afford shop rents’. Sally Walsh had similar train of thought, suggesting an indoor market, and Patricia Delosrios said she would like it to be for smaller independent outlets similar to Draper’s Yard.

Ady Talbot agreed, saying: “This is the perfect place for local traders/small businesses to be located, almost a local community with one building. People can turn up on buses, do all their shopping in one place then catch the bus home again. As long as the overheads aren’t extortionate.”

There were also calls for the building to be converted into flats for the homeless.

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READ MORE: Chichester’s lost businesses: The changing nature of our high street

LETTER: House of Fraser would be the perfect position for a concert hall

READ MORE: House of Fraser: Shoppers share memories as site closes for last time