When it appeared that fewer people appeared to be using businesses and shops in Mayfield High Street, the parish council ran a shopping survey from January 1-31 to find out what the reasons might be.
The results are now being analysed but indicate local shopping is as popular as ever.
Mayfield has always appeared a bustling, lively village with a more extensive range of shops than others in Wealden. But the NatWest bank’s closure has prompted fears the use of the High Street could decline which could force some businesses to the wall and encourage residents to drive to bigger towns for their shopping.
The parish council said a total of 401 replies to the survey were received.
Almost 40 per cent of those who responded said they used the High Street two to three days a week and 33.92 per cent on all or most days.
The single most important deterrent to shopping in the village appeared to be lack of parking which came top of the list, followed by concerns over a limited choice of produce and price. People also said they work near bigger shopping centres and some cited limited or inconsistent opening times.
A small number of residents said there was poor access for people with pushchairs and buggies, no disabled parking and no home delivery.
More than 40 per cent of respondents said they would use the High Street ‘a little less’ now the NatWest bank has closed while more than 20 per cent said they will use it a lot less - a worry for traders.
But when it came to the kind of shops and services that would attract people to the High Street, people responded with dozens of ideas.
They wanted a hardware or ironmongery shop, an ATM (or bank,) a greengrocers, a bakery with ‘ordinary bread and simple sandwiches at good prices,’ an electrical shop, supermarket or store offering more choice, stationery, fashionable clothes with bigger sizes and a bookshop.
Thre were 27 requests for restaurants and or takeaways.
A parish spokesman said: “What is clear from the comments we have received is that there is still a great demand for the High Street and the services it offers and how important it is for many of our residents. Encouragingly, among some of the comments, were a few who have expressed a willingness to look more closely at its future and the parish council will do what it can to facilitate this process.”
People were pleased to learn South Street car park will remain ‘long stay’ under Wealden District Council’s new car parking order.