No Ho Ho: Peacehaven shopping centre has no Christmas decorations due to fire regulations (From The Argus)
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No Ho Ho: Peacehaven shopping centre has no Christmas decorations due to fire regulations
Christmas has been cancelled at a shopping centre because “Scrooge” bosses say festive decorations pose a fire hazard.
Residents and shopkeepers have described the Meridian Centre in Peacehaven as “drab”, “dismal” and “bereft of Christmas cheer” because it has no festive decorations.
They have complained to the centre’s managers that its plain appearance will fail to attract Christmas shoppers and labelled the site the “worst shopping mall in the South East”.
Managers have confirmed it is “unlikely” that fire regulations will be signed off in time to allow decorations to be put up before Christmas but that the centre will still have some festive celebrations.
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Shoppers say it is the third year they have had to endure a decoration-less shopping centre.
Alison Standing, secretary of Peacehaven Horticultural Society and member of Peacehaven Residents Association, said: “At this time of year all shopping malls have lovely Christmas decorations and are full of festive cheer but the Meridian Centre has nothing again.
“The community of Peacehaven deserve some festive cheer, we do not understand why the Scrooge managing agents Stiles Harold Williams are not willing to make the Meridian Centre festive.
“The Meridian Centre must be the worst shopping mall in the South East.”
Steve Keogh, Peacehaven Town Council assistant town clerk, said the authority had filed its fire assessment forms in August yet only heard in the past few days that they could hold their Christmas market this weekend.
He said: “It’s the managing agents who are putting the blockers on decorating the centre.
“There is an issue with the fire safety registration so we are bereft of Christmas cheer again this year.
“A lot of the shopkeepers are unhappy especially as they pay a lot in rent to have shops in the centre.”
A spokesman for The Co-operative Estates, which owns the mall, said: “Following our recent £1 million investment to upgrade the fire precaution system at the Meridian Centre, practical completion of the works has been given.
“However, we are still in the process of agreeing sign-off of the fire strategy document with Lewes District Council Building Control and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, which unfortunately means we are unlikely to have decorations up in time for Christmas.”
Peacehaven Town Council are hosting a Christmas market this Saturday from 2pm featuring wrestlers, street dancers, free mince pies, and carol singing.
The Co-operative Food store will also be hosting a Santa’s grotto this Saturday and next weekend between 3pm and 5pm.
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