Increase in rents, not car parking charges, is the problem

PUBLISHED: 12:39 05 July 2007 | UPDATED: 15:10 12 May 2010

I HAVE been following the correspondence regarding the lack of retailers in Royston town centre. Apart from the usual diatribes against Tesco, your correspondents concentrate on blaming North Herts District Council and town councillors on the subject of p

I HAVE been following the correspondence regarding the lack of retailers in Royston town centre.

Apart from the usual diatribes against Tesco, your correspondents concentrate on blaming North Herts District Council and town councillors on the subject of parking charges.

Few towns the size of Royston offer free parking.

Between them, town and district councils have made the area more attractive in the past few years.

The main problem facing retailers is the huge increases in rents demanded by landlords. For example, one shop is expected to pay £5,000-a-year - and this is for what must be the smallest retail unit in the town.

For retailers in Angel Pavement the cost is £10,000-a-year.

With rising interest rates, landlords themselves may be facing difficulties. Nevertheless, at these levels more shops than ever will remain empty, landlords will have no income, and Royston will become a ghost town, whatever the level of parking charges.

K MAKOWIECKI

Cherry Drive, Royston

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