Local businesses have accused Redbridge Council and Vision RCL of not supporting them following the decision to allow a pop-up Christmas tree market on Christchurch Green.
“There are at least seven shops in Wanstead that traditionally sell Christmas trees. They pay rent, rates and VAT. As a charity, Vision does not have these overheads. This venture is unfair competition to businesses struggling to survive. Please shop local; the shops are here for you all year,” said Darrell Toakley Williams of the Wanstead Business Partnership.
A statement from Wanstead Village ward councillors: “We understand there have been some concerns about the pop-up Christmas tree market on Christchurch Green. We have been assured the vendor must leave the Green undamaged as part of their agreement and that they have paid the market rate for use of the space, which will be ploughed back by Vision RCL into local leisure and parks maintenance. We hope the market will bring more visitors to Wanstead and we encourage residents to shop locally on our High Street.”
A statement from Vision RCL: “We are working with Tree Amigos to bring a Christmas tree fayre to Christchurch Green. Alongside selling trees, there will be family activities, such as wreath making, storytelling and face painting to create a Christmas spirit… Our focus is on bringing more people to the local area, supporting the High Street and providing a festive aesthetic… The Tree Amigos are also based in Lloyd Park in Waltham Forest. All income generated is invested in the ongoing maintenance of Christchurch Green.”