Christmas market returns but faces hurdle in quest for drinks licence

Brighton Christmas Market plans to return in November and December and has applied for a licence to sell alcoholic drinks.

The Christmas Festival big wheel

But a neighbour has objected to the licence application so a panel of councillors will be asked to decide whether drinks can again be sold during the five weeks of trading.

A Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel is scheduled to sit next Friday (12 August) to hear from the market’s organiser E3 Events, from Hove, and the unnamed objector.

The market is due to start in Valley Gardens, Brighton, on Friday 18 November and end on Wednesday 21 December.

If a licence is granted, it would cover alcohol sales on and off the premises at all the food and drink stalls and a dedicated bar every day from 10am to 11pm.

The anonymous objector, whose details have been redacted by the council, does not want public space used for the event and said that it would cause a public nuisance.

The objector said: “It affects the public’s ability to continue with their normal exercise, destroys the land and is a continued loud presence with the potential for lewd behaviour in a public space due to alcohol consumption.

“I find it objectionable that my local green space is limited for most of the year to me and other local residents with profiteering of private companies selling alcohol over the health and wellbeing of their residents.”

E3 said that the Christmas market was “open access” except for the Aprés Ski Bar, which is a public bar with alcohol on sale and live entertainment.

Conditions put forward for the short-term licence are for licenced security staff to manage access to the Aprés Ski Bar.

Traders operating from chalet-style stalls in the main market area would sell a restricted range of alcoholic drinks confined to mulled wine and fortified hot drinks – but not served in glasses.

Any alcohol sold in bottles, either as gifts or for consumption at home, would be expected to remain unopened.

E3 Events would be expected to carry out a sound assessment and draw up a noise management plan after complaints last year.

The council licensing panel hearing is due to start at 10am next Friday (12 August) and is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Jon Reply

    Spend £millions on Valley Gardens with the primary design aim to provide a tranquil oasis for residents. Then hand it over for over a month for a miserable Xmas Market which trashes it then fence it off for two months to try and repair the damage.
    Thats what happened last year Let’s do it again to welcome in 2023

  2. stephen heatherington Reply

    As Jon says the Gardens were left a muddy mess, all the hard landscaping work wrecked.
    I thought the event was to be on Madera Drive if held again.

  3. Patcham Guy Reply

    Totally agree with objector and above two comments. This council has to go.
    Also maybe when they get the Hippodrome up and running perhaps they could get the unsightly events that take place during the Brighton Festival to move there and stop degrading this land which cost millions to restore. I am sure the landscape company is horrified. And so are most Brighton residents. The election is next year. Remember who is ploughing millions of pounds so undeservedly into this town.

  4. SlowFiets Reply

    Not so bothered about the theme of events or the booze on sale, or even the remediation time. Why though do they all look so godawful from the outside? Nasty heras fencing, heavy security, a big feeling of exclusion. Events should do more to improve the look and feel of the city – not just make a fenced fortress. The Xmas market, the ladyboys, the Jam memorabilia – all look awful to passers-by. All a bit sad.

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