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Empty shops

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On 17 Oct 2012 at 12:06pm Sam wrote:
Would anybody beable to help me I am trying to find out who owns either of the two empty shops in the town centre the old clintons/Julian Graves
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 2:14pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Cheval properties own Julian Graves. The agent is on Fawcett Meade on 020 7182 7486. The rent is £47,250. I understand that Clintons is between £70 - £100k for the rent. Lewes more expensive than Kingston Surrey! Not surprising that it is difficult for a local business to sell low margin items.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 3:15pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Those rents are outrageous. No wonder there are so many empty shops in our high streets.
I was in Haywards Heath earlier today and there are lots of empty shops there, too. My favourite shoe shop and a rather nice jewellers have both closed down, and the fabric shop was shut, although it still had stock in it.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 3:32pm Southover Queen wrote:
Wow, Merlin. Add business rates to that (also tens of thousands a year) and I'm amazed that there are any shops left at all in the High Street.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 4:05pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Does that price not include business rates? I thought that was how the owners of the building justified such huge rents, that they had to pay business rates out of that.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 4:06pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Exactly SA. That is why the number of coffee shops, for example, are expanding nationwide. High margin product. Those on this site who bemoan the lack of normal shops should try setting one up with these high rents. I got the prices because I had an idea for a business. However with these rents it took a few secinds to realise that it would impossible to make a living.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 4:53pm Harbinger wrote:
And many more are hanging on by a thread, watch the gaps appear.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 5:24pm echo...echo wrote:
what happened to market forces? You would think they would drive the price down. If the business Rates are too high, as has often been claimed then why is OUR Council making OUR shops, so unattractive to businesses WE would like to benefit from?
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 5:31pm Southover Queen wrote:
Because business rates are set by central government not the local council.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 5:37pm echo...echo wrote:
interesting, so does that mean they can do nothing except collect them?
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 5:55pm Southover Queen wrote:
I believe so, echo...echo.
 
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 5:58pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Why should we have business rates at all? The population should pay rates:
£x per person, to fund those services that can only practicaly be provided by local authorities or the state.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 6:07pm Merlin Milner wrote:
I believe the rent excludes business rates. Correct me if I am wrong.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 6:25pm Ringmer Rose wrote:
I don't shop in town anymore because of the parking tax, I can't afford to help the locals out when the govermnet is too busy taxing my hard earned money so then I can pay more tax when I do buy something. Double taxation.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 6:32pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Tesco's parking is free for a few hours. Then walk into town centre.
However I agree that the 'parking' scheme / tax is not helping Lewes' commerce. East Sussex County Council are not really nterested in Lewes businesses.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 7:17pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Tesco parking is for Tesco customers while using their shop. As is Aldi's.
You are taking the mickey if you park in these areas to visit Cliffe.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 7:20pm Townie wrote:
Lewes has got to start looking at other towns. The parking, amount of hairdressers and antique shops, the extortionate business tax and rents will ruin the town.
Time to start turning the snobbish head and admit defeat...Lewes needs "normal" shops who pay normal rents and sell normal stuff.
If it doesn't change, it'll die.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 7:27pm Morrigan wrote:
Unfortunately Lewes is just going the way of any number of other towns. If you go to the Cotswolds all the villages are pretty much for display only. Last time I was in Lechlade, even the Spar shop sold quails eggs and caviar.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 8:18pm Planning Objector wrote:
All the more reason to OBJECT to any change of use from "business to residential" in Lewes as the town is rapidly becoming a dormitory town.
Here's the latest application to add to the decay of the town...

Check it out here »
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 8:21pm Planning Objector wrote:
Link did not work - try adding the htpp:// before this...
planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=MBEYFJTU08600
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 8:23pm Southover Queen wrote:
Sussex Jim, I think you're wrong about Tesco's parking. It was a condition of their getting planning approval that they would offer free parking for up to free hours for all visitors. You don't have to be a Tesco customer to park there.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 8:33pm Southover Queen wrote:
Ooops "for up to THREE hours". tsk.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 9:15pm bastian wrote:
I had the misfortune to find myself in Grantham the other week, home of lady thatcher. It was once a town of great buildings and commerce...now it's a ghost town. Coming soon.
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 9:43pm uckers barry wrote:
i just love living in uckfield its a lovely town to bring up a family all the schools are close to the town free parking and a cinema and no antique shops bliss
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 10:18pm Zebedee wrote:
But its full of chavs!
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 10:27pm Love Lewes wrote:
And about as much atmosphere as it has antique shops. Let's face it. Uckfield is cheap. For a reason.............
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On 17 Oct 2012 at 11:33pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Maybe if owners had to pay business rates on empty shops, they might reduce the rents to encourage people to rent the premises.
Many councils are now considering charging council tax on empty residential properties, I don't see why business premises should be treated differently.
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 5:16am Easy to park! wrote:
Love lewes and zebedee.....your exactly the reason Lewes is in decline!! Stuck up wallies! Who probably shop at Asda anyway! Long the live the free parking of uckers !
 
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 9:06am Pete wrote:
ACT - like the idea, not sure the council would get away with it though, same goes for empty residential houses - can you imagine councils charging themselves for empty council houses ? Bottom line unfortunately is that we have some greedy landowners (remember them ?) who will insist on squeezing the most out of a stone. Not sure what the answer is really....but at least we know the cause.....
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 11:56am Merlin Milner wrote:
The business rates for the ex Julian Graves shop is £20k (not included in then rent). The business rate is based upon the rental value which is about £45k. Rents are too high in Lewes and therefore low margin local businesses will struggle. We are all affected by the inflated property prices which in turn produce high rents. One of the few benefits of this recesssion is a dampening in property price inflation.
ACT All empty commercial properties are exempt from paying business rates for three months after they become vacant.
I often go to Marlborough and there is no daft parking scheme there. Traffic flows well, lots of local business plus multiples. Marlborough is a similar size to Lewes.
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 12:45pm Old Cynic wrote:
Ite the 'normal' shops that are closing down all over the UK ie. peacocks, Clintons, Julain Graves as they have finally reaslised that they have far too many outlets. Independents are doing much better
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 12:48pm Old Cynic wrote:
Easy to Park....Uckfield, with its high number of tedious 'normal' shops will soon be a ghost town - because theyse are the very places closing in droves across the UK.
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 2:37pm AG wrote:
Owners do pay business rates on empty shops. They get 3 months grace and then have to pay business rates for an empty shop!
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 5:15pm Realist wrote:
Merlin is speaking sense, as ever. An interesting irony- at least two long-established Cliffe independents were refused tenancies of the Precinct shops when they were first built on the grounds that, as independents, they would not prove as reliable in the long term as a multiple. twenty odd years on, both Cliffe traders are still going strong, whereas the precinct has lost a number of "covenant able" multiples to administration or bankruptcy! Incidently, landlords often prefer to leave a property unlet, rather than accept a reduced rent which would reduce its value in their investment portfolio. What price commercial common sense?
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 8:09pm Townie wrote:
So what does this town need ? what does the chamber of commerce and LDC want from this town, more importantly, what do the residents and visitors of the town want.
We have a parking scheme that is crippling business, we have rents and business taxes that are far higher than anywhere on earth, property prices are through the roof and you can't get a rented place for love nor money.
Isn't it time someone sat down and sorted this sh1t out in the town. It's absolutely hideous living here as a born and bred resident with the prices we have to pay for things.
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 9:17pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
Charity shops are exempt from paying business rates, so the owner would often rather do a deal with them than have to pay full business rates on a property earning zilch. While one or two charity shops may be OK, a high street dominated by them is bad news.
Realist is quite correct regarding covenants: banks used to be considered top grade, now it is probably coffee shops and bookmakers.
I am with Merlin with the Marlborough comparison. I really think we should learn from what other towns do well.
BTW I still can't believe the insane parking scheme exists! You managed to sort out Greene King and Charles Style but can't seem to touch a scheme sponsored by locally elected representatives?
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On 18 Oct 2012 at 9:46pm Southover Queen wrote:
You can boycott a pub; it doesn't work with the councils, sadly, who do what they please without reference to Lewes residents who - unsurprisingly perhaps - don't vote for them...


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