A business selling Christmas trees is to set up on St Peter’s Square tomorrow in a bid to stop it being used as a free car park.
Drivers have been using the new public space in front of St Peter’s Church off Richmond Place as free parking for the North Laine for the last few months.
Now, Brighton and Hove City Council, which owns the square, has put up No Parking signs and is looking into ways of enforcing this and blocking access.
But in the meantime, it hopes that by allowing the tree sales business to set up shop there, fewer cars will be able to access the square.
A council spokesman said: “We’ve put No Parking signs up in the area near St Peter’s Church to discourage drivers from parking their vehicles there.
“We have also given permission for a Christmas tree sales business to set up on the area in question. That will start on Thursday and will greatly reduce the number of vehicles able to pull up there.
“In the meantime, our parks and legal teams are currently assessing the best long-term solutions for stopping drivers parking there.
“Options under consideration include a combination of enforcement action and blocking access.”
The square was opened in autumn 2020, as part of the reworking of road and green space through Valley Gardens. The space was previously used as a car park for the church, but this has moved to the northern side of the building.
The square has been used to host Brighton Fringe events, and last year the Brighton Christmas Festival market was held there.
It’s believed the parking started after a mobile unit used by the NHS for lung health checks set up opposite the square last month.
However once drivers saw it being used by one or two cars, more started to take advantage. After Brighton and Hove News highlighted the issue earlier this month, cars began to line every side of the square.
This week, the city council confirmed its name is St Peter’s Square.