Tuesday, 2 July 2013

6th Tonbridge Town Centre Survey

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 Thai restaurant.

"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. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org

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