Search

Market towns see retail rents plunge as business rates and out of town shopping take their toll

PUBLISHED: 08:36 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:29 10 November 2017

High Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

High Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

High street rental values in market towns across Norfolk and Suffolk have fallen dramatically over the past decade as out-of-town shopping and the internet have taken their toll.

The cost of prime retail space has decreased in towns such as King’s Lynn, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, according to a commercial property expert.

The combination of high business rates, parking costs and competition had led to a softening of demand and subsequent decline in rental value, said Adrian Fennell, a partner at Roche Chartered Surveyors.

Great Yarmouth has seen the largest reduction with average rents for prime zone A retail space falling 47% from £75 per sq m to £40.

King’s Lynn fell 31% since 2007, from £87.50 per sq m to £60, while Lowestoft has fallen 43% from £75 per sq m to £42.50.

“King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft all have [negative] growth which is significant. The main reason recently is the exceptionally high [business] rates which have stagnated growth, even with the revaluation,” Mr Fennell said.

“King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth have extremely strong out of town representation with the Hardwick and Gapton Hall retail parks.”

Ipswich and Thetford had seen drops of around 20% while Bury St Edmunds bucked the trend rising 9%, which Mr Fennell said was helped by its proximity to the booming Cambridge market.

Mr Fennell said concessions on business rates would help, as well as cheaper parking to help bring more shoppers into towns.

He said: “Parking charges are also an issue because if you are doing everyday shopping you don’t want to pay £3.50 for two hours.”

Abbie Panks, centre manager for King’s Lynn’s Vancouver Centre said many towns had seen their rents fall with those in East Anglia no different to most.

Lowestoft Vision chairman Danny Steel said although rents had been falling there retail sector was still holding up.

“Footfall has dropped this year but the average spend has increased to balance that out.

“Organisations such as Lowestoft Vision and the other BIDs are doing lots of work to bring people in,” he said.

Mr Fennell was speakeing at a joint Birketts, BDO and Roche property seminar in Norwich.

Other news

New mental health beds for children and young people are set to open in the region after a review found current services were not enough.

17:42

Work to create a new 1,000-acre wildlife wonderland near Lowestoft will get under way at the end of this year following a £4m grant.

One of the region’s finest stately homes is hosting an exhibition that celebrates the region’s most charming scenery.

16:02

Regular music sessions will take centre stage in Lowestoft thanks to National Lottery funding.

Most Read

The newly refurbished McDonald’s in Pakefield is due to reopen tomorrow after an “exciting transformation”.

Read more
Facebook

Witnesses to a theft in Lowestoft which saw four iPhones stolen are being urged to come forward.

Read more
Lowestoft police

A wildlife trust’s visionary plan to create a vast new nature reserve on the fringes of Lowestoft is to go-ahead thanks to a grant of more than £4m, it is revealed today.

Read more
Heritage Lottery Fund
Yesterday, 17:35

Hundreds of Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and their leaders have proudly put their best foot forward to celebrate their patron saint St George.

Read more
Peter Aldous
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Horn Hill in Lowestoft was the worst street for reported crime in the whole of Waveney in the last year.

Read more
Suffolk Police

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter