RESIDENTS have been left dismayed after spotting a tiny Christmas tree in the town centre.

As previously reported, Basingstoke's shopping centre Festival Place has launched a series of festive events during the countdown to Christmas.

The centre has decided to offer six weeks of festive fun instead of an official light switch-on event as was tradition up until 2018 when its festive event hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Visitors described the switch-on as “chaotic” and an “absolute shambles”, claiming there was “nothing Christmassy” as organisers failed to provide a tree or Santa Claus, instead choosing to light up a giant owl.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke residents react to news of no Christmas light switch-on

It was not the first time a light switch-on in Basingstoke has caused chaos. In 1999 TV hardman Ross Kemp switched on the lights drawing an unexpectedly large crowd of 10,000 people.

Four people were taken to hospital in a crush and the show had to be abandoned.

This year residents have been left disappointed, that like many other towns across the UK, they would not get to experience the joy of a switch-on.

Over the weekend of Saturday, December 2 residents were left dismayed after spotting a tiny Christmas tree in the town centre.

Barry Coomber took to the Spotted Basingstoke Facebook group to share the news.

With a photo of the tree, he posted: "I wonder which celebrity we had to turn the tree lights on this year."

This resulted in a flurry of comments from residents.

Trevor Rose commented: "I remember there always being a huge tree in front of the town hall (I mean like 20+ feet tall). They may as well have not bothered, that size is like you'd have in your living room."

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Ben 'Trigga' Rowlands also commented: "Oh! Is that it? Having recently moved here I thought Basingstoke being as big and vibrant you would have a nice big tree not a homemade special offer one."

Meanwhile, others took a slightly different view.

Sandra 'Tickner' Englefiel posted: "It's a bit of a small tree, but I suppose they can't put a big tree up there or there would be no room for the market stalls on Wednesdays and Saturdays."

Others said even though the tree is small it still looks 'pretty'.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's executive director of resident services and regeneration Rebecca Emmett said: "The council is pleased to provide a Christmas tree in Market Place this year. The tree was carefully selected for its shape and size to ensure it is festive but does not encroach on space needed for the market, and so that it does not impede CCTV views so that visitors and residents are safe in the town centre."