The owners of Little London Walk in East Street, Chichester have got planning permission to transform the site into one single unit store, but the four traders left in the precinct want to stay until their leases expire in 2019/20.
Owners of Zig Zag, Cake Fayre, Lin Stearn and Jean Ainger, were at a recent council committee meeting, and said: “[The owners of Little London] can’t do anything until the end of our leases. The landlord can’t develop until 2019/20. We plan to carry on trading until then.”
Camera shop Whitby’s and cafe Chives leases are not due to expire until 2020.
The owner of the Little London, is keen to empty the building so it can be leased to a high-street chain.
At the recent committee meeting, Julian Carter, an agent for the owners of Little London said: “Little London Walk as it stands is not viable going forward.”
He also claimed the new high street store could create 50 jobs.
But councillor Quentin Cox, sitting on the committee, asked how many jobs would be lost if the existing shops closed. The answer was “30 or 40 jobs”.
If the traders remain on the site, as they propose to, it is likely the owners will have to reapply for planning permission.
Editor’s comments: Do you shop in Little London? What do you think about the high number of empty units towards the back of the precinct? If the businesses currently located moved elsewhere (but nearby) would you still shop there, thereby ensuring those businesses would not close and therefore those jobs would not be lost and therefore meaning the 50 extra jobs that are said to be created would be additional jobs in Chichester?