No festive cheer? Bah humbug say shoppers

Meridian centre, Peacehaven
Meridian centre, Peacehaven

Does Peacehaven have the least decorated and most unfestive indoor shopping centre in the country?

Residents are wondering if Scrooge is in town as the Christmas decorations are kept in the box at the Meridian Centre for the third year.

Mrs Alison Standing, secretary of Peacehaven Horticultural Society and a 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.

“I have contacted the managing agents of the building, Stiles Harold Williams, but get excuses after excuses - firstly it is Peacehaven Town Councils fault, now it is a fire safety issue.

“Peacehaven Town Council have done everything they need to do.

“The community of Peacehaven deserve some festive cheer. We do not understand why the managing agents are not willing to make the Meridian Centre festive.

“It must be the worst shopping mall in the South East.”

Peacehaven Town Council, based in the centre, is due to hold a Christmas Festival in the mall on Saturday December 14 but the town clerk said this year the managing agent had not given permission.

Kevin Kingston said Santa’s grotto had to take refuge in the Co-op as it was not allowed in the mall either.

“Every other shopping centre has decorations, why can’t we?” he said.

“We’re between a rock and a hard place. The residents are blaming us and we want to do something nice for the residents but we are getting no response.”

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Estates 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.

“Despite this, we have agreed in principle with the council to host the Christmas market, which The Co-operative will be supporting with free mince pies, tea and coffee during the carol singing between 4pm and 6pm.”