On 28 Jun 2007 at 12:42pm ExiledfromLewes wrote:
Well not quite, but was sad to read that Florences sweet shop will be soon be closing (Lewes Today website). The property will be changing to residential use. i remember it as a very well run local business, run by really nice local people.
I'm usually of the opinion that the law is the law and it is near impossible to object to these form of changes on legal grounds and you have to accept it. But I am concerned that fairly recently the town lost Lewes video rentals to residential use, the antique emporium was lost to residential use and the toy shop became an estate agents. I think there is a need for an urgent debate about the future of the shops in Lewes as this seems to be continuing with regularity now. As i said above I'm not sure what can be done with the planning laws as they are, but it would be interesting to hear other peoples thoughts on the matter.
On 28 Jun 2007 at 1:15pm The Super K wrote:
This can't be allowed to happen I love that sweet shop!
All the best to the owners.
On 28 Jun 2007 at 3:06pm Maddy wrote:
Don't worry Exiled... soon - when the new marina is built and there are direct trains to London - everyone will sod off down to Newhaven and leave Lewes businesses alone... if there are any left by then!
On 28 Jun 2007 at 4:27pm SHS wrote:
Clearly unless businesses - offices, industry, retailers and so on - are separated from residential areas, preferably by at least 20 miles or so, people will not use their cars to travel to work or to go shopping. This government will always ensure a high and increasing usage of private cars in order to keep it's tax / duty intake high. If people really started to walk to work or walk to the local shops in large numbers, how would the govt make up for the lost fuel duty revenue?
On 28 Jun 2007 at 5:06pm Andy wrote:
Isn't Florences owned by Marvin (he of Andy and Marvin) and run by his wife ?
Is anyone old enough to remember Bob's shop down Talbot Terrace. Used to sell wicked crystaol sherbert in many flavours
On 28 Jun 2007 at 8:11pm ExiledfromLewes wrote:
The shop is owned by marvin and his wife and they are really nice people, so I agree with Super K's sentiments about wishing them well for the future.
looking at the wider picture it seems thats the way Lewes is going and I don't think there is much anyone can do about it. It seems a facet in the last decade that businesses are now geared to out of town developments built under the guises of regeneration. For example the new Super Casino in Manchester is being built and the development around it is built under the guise of regeneration. Surprisingly the same area in Manchester was previously regenerated a few years earlier by the building of the City of Manchester stadium.
I don't want to start another thread on Falmer, but I have noted that it has been reported that Hazel Blears will noe be making the decision. Amazingly she is able through Herculean ability to make a decision on this development within the week, when John Prescott needed two planning inquiries, several lawyers and civil servants and a test start failed first decision. Furthermore an 'Independent' inspector a week before the decison has decided that Falmer should be stripped of its AONB status whilst the alternative sites Toads Valley and Sheepcote should be incorporatated in the new national park.
This is not coincidental and it is obvious that the Government has engineered this for an undisputed yes, just like they changed the test regarding alternative sites after the first inquiry. I praise BHFC Fans for their Sisyphean efforts, however Gordon Brown can stick his moral compus where the sun don't shine and that goes too for his colleagues:.) Anyhow we can now safely say that the stadium will be built and this long chapter has come to an end. To draw a link to the initial intention of the thread and Maddys post, I think Lewes highstreet will now be fully estate agents, charity shops etc. With just the odd Independent. In Lewes Tescos being the largest player will take most of the trade, therefore municipals will not seek to challenge them and will go to large out of town developments. Are my fears founded?
On 28 Jun 2007 at 8:45pm For The Record wrote:
I regularly deliver a Lewes publication along the High Street (between Station St and the Bottleneck).
The growth of properties along this stretch of the High Street over the years is staggering - I'd have to check my figures but it has grown by approx 40% in the last 5 years.
The policy of allowing "change of use from business to residential" is choking the retailers. Even what seems like a relatively benign downsizing of business to allow additonal properties to be built creates a strain not only on residential services (schools, car-parking, refuse etc) but also makes the existing businesses unattractive, forcing them out of business or to copy their neighbours.
Lewes businesses will not succeed if all businesses are small - we need some of the larger ones to make them viable. Consequently developers like Charles Stye (sic) will swoop on this opportunity to create a new town centre in the Phoenix - then were will existing businesses stand? My fear is that Lewes is rapidly becoming a dormitory town.
Although I appreciate the lovely sweeties and service that I have received over the years from Florence's, I really do not agree to the change of use.
On 28 Jun 2007 at 9:06pm ExiledfromLewes wrote:
Thanks for the information 'For the Record', it is concerning the businesses being changed to residential. Even if a independent wants to keep going, it will become an up hill struggle if they are just going to be surrounded by residential houses and estate agents.
Too date i'm been pretty open to the Phoenix development, partially because ex Lewesians were involved and that they would have the town in interest. Now I'm not so confident partially because I don't think there is a perfect solution. It's my belief that the municipals currently are struggling in Lewes and will continue to do so with Tescos dominance (that's why I'm not keen on the idea on Tescos expanding as it suppose to follow a Tesco policy to diversify into different areas). If Tesco expands then Currys, Boots, Argos could all potentially leave. A solution would be the Phoenix development were municipals can start a fresh and together could challenge the dominance of Tescos in the town. However if that happens the Independents in the old town centre will be left isolated and therefore not profitable and they will probably all turn residential (bar a few). I might be too negative on this matter, but thats my current belief on what could happen.
On 28 Jun 2007 at 10:39pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
I noticed today that 79 High Street is applying for change of use to maintain an estate agent on the ground floor, but to create 3 flats above and a house in the garden.
On 30 Jun 2007 at 2:03pm Mystic mog wrote:
Its often down to rents. This is what is often the killer for local businesses. Whether it be the Long Room, sweet shop, toy shop etc. Rents are linked to property prices. This is in turn is linked to the so called successful econmoy we are supposed to enjoy.
Great shame. Boycott Tescos - discuss!
On 30 Jun 2007 at 3:16pm Andy wrote:
Why is it Tesco's fault that the rents are high. I think they're high because Lewes is an expensive place to live and to shop....if it wasn't for Tesco, many people would travel to "out of town" supermarkets such as Asda in Brighton.
Luckily, a decent supermarket gives mere peasants like myself, a chance to shop affordably for my groceries rather than having to take out a second mortgage to buy them from Bills.
What Lewes needs is a market...with proper fruit and veg stalls....you still get them in other towns such as Brighton. It's all very well having the farmers market but again, the words "organic" and "Lewes" seem to push up prices by 50%
On 30 Jun 2007 at 5:47pm For The Record wrote:
I try not to shop in Tesco's as I find the quality of their goods is extremely poor. After discarding the substandard/inedible/unpalatable parts in the bin (often 40-50%), I feel it is false economy to shop there.
I often suspect that Tesco are trying to become the department store of the 21st century. They have branched into electrical goods, furniture, petrol (see below), as well as finance & insurances.
Mentioning the petrol reminds me that the DVLC have started a campaign of adverts reminding people about the importance (for safety and economical reasons) of regularly checking their tyre pressures. As we know, a vehicle should not be driven more than 1 or 2 miles to ensure accurate measurement of air pressure. As the supermarket chains (eg Tesco's) have undercut and forced out of business most local garages, the availability of compressed air is not as easilly accessible to the public (many having to drive 10+ miles). And, the air hose at Tesco's is usually inaccurate and/or not working, thus forcing motorists to drive further to access these facilities. Strikes me that this is potentially dangerous and environmentally unfriendly practice.
Sorry it's long winded!
On 30 Jun 2007 at 7:36pm ExiledfromLewes wrote:
Don't worry about long winded responses as a detailed, articulate debate is what's needed. I actually don't think tescos can be blamed for high rent prices, I think the main problems for viability for shops in the highstreat is that people are so keen to move to Lewes they are willing to pay the Landlord a mint to buy the property and then apply for change of use.
I will also agree that for a lot of people in Lewes Tescos has remained popular because they see it as cheap and affordable. When I was younger and there was not Tescos my parents shopped at the Asda in Hollingbury because it was what they could afford with a young family. So I'm not as pasionatly against Tescos as some people, what i am against is them extending the store and moving into electronics, clothes etc in a national policy to target it's highstreet rivals. I think the key is trying to find a balance between the two superstore, municipals and Independents.
Lastly people seem to be mentioning the idea of a market, out of interest how would that work. Are there people living locally willing to make a living out of this business or would you need people from out of town to run the site. Perhaps a stupid question, but the only knowledge I have on running a market comes from Eastenders (so nowt in reality).
On 30 Jun 2007 at 7:57pm Mysitic mog wrote:
Exiled you did a fine job in Walford, perhaps you could talk to Dirk and offer your services!
On 30 Jun 2007 at 8:47pm cage rattler wrote:
I used to shop at Tescos but just can not bear it any longer. I try and buyorganically and historically used to enjoy going to the organic section to buy the fruits and vegetables. Now the organic stuff is interdespersed throughout the store and it takes me so much longer to buy the organic foods. In addition, when I would get home half of the produce would be off! Andy seems to be adverse to organic food from a cost issue but I feel that I can not afford to buy non organic as it is a cost to my health!!!
On 30 Jun 2007 at 9:10pm ExiledfromLewes wrote:
Walfords being going down hill since Pete Beale left the fruit and Veg stall, never been the same since. Anyhow I suppose ficticious markets I'm yer man if that's what Lewes needs.
On 1 Jul 2007 at 8:35am SHS wrote:
First it needs the support of the town council and possibly LDC & ESCC to allow Cliffe High Street to be closed to traffic on a Sunday with no road-closure fee, and no licence fee for the market itself. This would keep stall fees down to £7 to £10 per week, same as at the older markets in Brighton & elsewhere. Possibly the Lewes chamber of commerce could run it, ensuring active support from existing local shops who would be encouraged to have a stall. Third, imho it should not be a strict 'organic-local-premium-price' market but should have both fruit & veg and other stalls, even clothes racks and shoes, and hardware. Scope perhaps for a merger with the Sunday boot fair currently in the Waitrose car-park but surely due to be booted out soon as the car-park gets sold. Sunday market = free parking. (Is this true? If not we certainly need free parking on a Sunday).
On 1 Jul 2007 at 11:14am ExiledfromLewes wrote:
Thanks SHS, a lot of that made good sense. It seems that it needs a group of people to go to the councils with a proposal. They might need to contact Sussex Express before hand as it would probably be a good idea to get popular support for a market (which I think does exist) beforehand. I don't see a reason why the councils would object, due to in part the Cliffe being made pedestrian.
I also think it would be imperative to get the already existing independents involved so they can profit from such a move and not feel that is competition. I also agree that you can't just have one single type of stalls, as for it to be viable they will need to target all types of shoppers.
On 1 Jul 2007 at 3:07pm Andy wrote:
SHS.....why not have the market on saturdays in the precinct ?....the Farmers market is every forth saturday, why can't we have a "traditional" market on the other saturdays....it would certainly liven the town up, even bring people in from other areas and make shopping in Lewes high street a little more bearable.
Does anyone remember Haywards heath market in the old cattle market.....that was superb and had people flocking to the town. If we had something like that and it bought people in, surely local traders would benifit too
As for the boot fair, well that's in the NCP car park which is nothing to do with Waitrose.
So who's going to volunteer to put these initial proposals/suggestions to the council.....i suppose at some point that baffoon David Quinn will get involved too as he's the main man in the chamber of commerce
On 1 Jul 2007 at 3:28pm SHS wrote:
I guess I need to visit other markets more often, I never saw the HH market. My concern about Saturdays would be (a) the parking problems and possible reluctance to close Cliffe High Street to traffic and (b) difficulties for local shops to staff a stand, or that the market would reduce trade at those same shops.
However, I guess many people already do their shopping on a Saturday and personally I'm all for keeping Sunday a rest day.
Ultimately it will be down to the existing local shop owners, to potential stallholders (many already have other market commitments on a Saturday) and last but not least to what Lewes district folk vote for. Agree a good market should draw a mass of people in to the town from a wide area, rather like the Shoreham market does.
Wouldn't it be nice to have regular referendums in this town on minor but important issues such as this, to establish what everybody wants, not just a selected or lucky minority? It wouldn't take much to deliver a voting form covering several issues at the same time as that 'Your County' rag.
On 1 Jul 2007 at 3:31pm Rookie wrote:
I was in Andy and Marvins a few weeks ago and it seems Marvin is not in the best of health. It might have a lot to do with the sweet shop closing.
Yep, as an ex-Pells pupil I remember Bobs well. I used to spend pocket money on lousy chewing gum just to get the football cards.
On 1 Jul 2007 at 3:40pm Andy wrote:
Don't forget that Cliffe high street will become totally pedestrianised soon (except for deliveries, pick ups and residents) so it won't be that difficult to sort out. Maybe a smaller market at first along the same lines as the farmers market.
But to get the trade and the people to use the markets....and the other shops, we need free parking on a saturday and until we do, i can't see anything happening and the business in this town will go only one way.
Not sure what stalls you'd have....fruit and veg (decent competition to Bills and Tesco), plant stall already there, that little wagon that sells those gorgeous tandoori veg, a butchers and bakers maybe, hardware stall, clothing stall.....any more suggestions
On 2 Jul 2007 at 10:13am Mystic mog wrote:
Saturday seems preferable to Sunday. It would be a shame to partially compete with the boot fair. It should be a produce market and space for private individuals to sell home grown produce, from alotments, gardens etc.
On 2 Jul 2007 at 6:19pm Andy wrote:
If there's to be a market, it needs to sell a wider range of stuff....we already have the farmers market which sells "produce"....we need a fruit and veg stall....nothing flash and fancy....a little old geezer shouting "peaches peaches two bob a LB" and that sort of thing. Let's get a bit of character back in the town rather than walking along endless rows of "produce" that is too expensive for all but the loaded and watching middle/upper class women looking down their noses at each other because one has better apples than the other.
On 2 Jul 2007 at 6:45pm Mysitic mog wrote:
Totally agree Andy - that is what I was trying to say in my last post. When I was a kid we used to go to a covered produce market and buy fruit and veg and sell surplas from our garden - couple of trays of apples etc.
On 3 Jul 2007 at 6:44pm JUST THE TICKET wrote:
yes Lewes needs some more good traders to balance out the market. a good market would bring in the visitors and help out the locals with some good produce and goods