Council may raise shop rents this year

Some traders in Old Dover Road may be facing a rent rise from the Council. Rent reviews are carried out every three years and can sometimes be controversial not only with traders but also with local residents who value the variety and service provided by our independent shops.

One such controversial rise was in 2006 which saw rises approaching 40% leading to opposition from traders, residents and local Ward Councillors.  Subsequently the 2009 and 2012 reviews saw no increase at all - though there has been the Pavement Tax to contend with. While it is possible that some traders may face an increase this year it is hoped that it will be relatively modest.

Blackheath Westcombe Councillor, Geoff Brighty, who has been a strong supporter of our traders organised a meeting with traders and Council Officers to talk about the 2015 rent review which is now underway.

Geoff said "The meeting has given the traders an opportunity to hear what the Council's approach is likely to be and to put their views across. The Council has a fiduciary duty to maximise its income from its property assets, which include shop premises, but there is always a balance to be struck between that duty and the need to maintain a healthy local shopping centre that brings benefits to local residents."

The meeting also provided a forum to discuss other issues such as concern about a drop in footfall and the long promised but continually delayed Old Dover Road parking review.