Steve Dawe has completed his 6th survey of Tonbridge Town Centre for Tonbridge and Malling Green Party (report attached). Steve Dawe comments:
"The main findings of the survey are that 20 commercial properties in and
around the High Street remain empty, many of them the same empty units as
in previous years. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is still not
making enough effort to bring these properties into commercial or housing use.
"More positively, there is a small crop of new enterprises, mainly
occupying premises that were previously occupied, including some additions
to diversity including a Butcher, a Brasserie, a Portuguese takeaway and a
Mexican restaurant, both in Avebury Avenue, and a new Turkish restaurant
filling the former ASK restaurant site. But we have also lost the Montien
"Other new additions include more takeaways, a Bridal shop and a Bespoke
Property Improvement business. This is good, in the sense of providing
some additions to diversity. However, as with the loss of a fruit and veg
shop in the past, businesses have to get past 'honeymoon rents' of their
first year of operation and be able to deal with what are generally much
higher rents in subsequent years. So having a lot of same sector
businesses like restaurants/take aways at the same time combined with
future higher rents suggests not all may survive. It is very much up to
Tonbridge consumers to favour those they most value.
"The highly successful Tonbridge Taster event, bringing 20,000 people on
to the streets of Tonbridge, emphasises the main need for the town: a
modern, pedestrianised shopping centre with markets and other events
periodically to serve consumers effectively."
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Tonbridge and Malling Green Party, on
01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe
for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
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