Independent Chartered Surveyors &
Commercial Property Agency

Regulated by RICS

Is our high street at risk of becoming a ghost town?

Written by: Andrew Idle

01/03/2019 10:54

There has been a mounting concern at the plight of the traditional retail high street, this Yorkshire Post article being the latest.

Some clients of Andrew Idle Associates have suffered very low footfall, low revenues and exorbitant business rates bills in recent years. We have done what we can to reduce business rates bills, but the rating authorities are themselves under pressure to maximise revenues.

This, in turn, means that the Valuation Office is resisting reductions in rating assessments even though they are justified in the Cases which we handle.

Although the Chancellor provided some rating relief in the 2018 Autumn Statement, it is believed to be only temporary.

It seems only right and equitable that online retail warehouses should bear a larger proportion of the business rates burden than they now do, as the current situation for many town and city centre retailers, who have to carry far higher overheads generally, just isn’t sustainable.

Meanwhile, we at Andrew Idle Associates have just completed, on behalf of a Client, lettings of two empty retail units in central Bradford with an upsurge of interest noted in recent months. It is hoped this trend continues, though rental levels are still somewhat low compared to prior to the Credit Crunch. Other locations have fared better and continued to prosper though.

Andrew Idle