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Pop-up Christmas store offers click and collect as it fights closure notice

PUBLISHED: 13:41 11 November 2020 | UPDATED: 13:59 11 November 2020

Christmas Wonderland, in Tavern Street, Ipswich, is intending to fight the borough council's instruction to close during the lockdown. Picture: ARCHANT

Christmas Wonderland, in Tavern Street, Ipswich, is intending to fight the borough council's instruction to close during the lockdown. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A pop-up Christmas shop is offering click and collect after being told to close by Ipswich Borough Council – and says it will fight against the order.

Christmas Wonderland, on Tavern Street, had remained open since the start of the second lockdown last week despite other businesses closing.

But Ipswich Borough Council has issued a prohibition notice on the store – instructing it to close for the rest of the lockdown.

Businesses that fail to shut after being issued with a prohibition notice can be given a fixed penalty notice.

The store’s manager argues that because it sells some essential goods the store should be allowed to remain open and has instructed solicitors to contest the council’s notice.

“We haven’t decided to close, we’re still open for click and collect,” he said.

“We are fighting it. We’re just doing this until my solicitors sorts this out.”

MORE: Christmas shop vows to stay open despite council ordering it to shutdown

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A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “Ipswich Borough Council is working to ensure that lockdown is fully in-force in the town so that it is as effective as possible. We are pleased that the vast majority of the town’s businesses are abiding by the rules and so making the town safer for everyone.

“The Council has today served a prohibition notice on a shop, Christmas Wonderland in Tavern Street, that obliges this retailer to close for the rest of lockdown.

“Only shops that sell a substantial amount of essential goods can remain open under government rules. We do not consider this shop to comply with the regulations and therefore it is not permitted to trade.

“We will continue to monitor compliance with the government’s lockdown regulations across Ipswich.

“We would much rather work to help businesses to comply with the law but will issue prohibition notices and fixed penalty fines where regulations are being breached.”

Previously businesses in the town centre had spoken out about their anger that Christmas Wonderland was staying open.

MORE: Traders ‘furious’ as Christmas shop stays open in lockdown

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central business improvement district, said: “I find it staggering that the shop is still open.

“Actually, what it proves that even though the vast majority of Ipswich businesses are reluctantly closed, it is actually possible for you to reinvent your business overnight, claim you are suddenly essential and remain open despite the guidance.

“But, I have been inundated with businesses over the last 48 hours who are closed following the rules and are furious that this shop is getting away with it and I fully support their view.”


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