Basildon awash with empty shops

Basildon Recorder: Empty shops in Basildon Empty shops in Basildon

ALMOST a fifth of Basildon town centre shops are empty, according new figures.

The Local Data Company claims the town centre had a vacancy rate of 17.2 per cent at the end of 2013, with big name traders pulling out.

McDonald’s left the town centre last year and Basildon Council also launched a failed attempt to buy a parade of town centre shops in East Walk as businesses moved.

Fears have been raised that businesses are being drawn to the outer edges of the town because rates are cheaper.

Hassan Hassan, manager of Ocean Blue fish shop, in East Walk, said: “More and more shops are seeing it is worth their while to move out of town because it is too expensive here.

“The rates cost an arm and a leg and we’re seeing more and more shops closing because they can’t pay their way.

“The town centre isn’t brilliant and is paying for it.

“It’s very difficult to survive at the moment and we’re just about doing it. People are choosing not to come into the town centre.”

Basildon Council’s figures for business premises in the entire borough, which includes offices, warehouses and shops, as a whole show 67 more businesses have come to the town in the last year. There are 478 empty premises currently compared to 545 at the same time last year.

Hans Wustefeld, chairman of Basildon Town Centre Management, said times were “tough”

but Basildon was on the up.

He said: “It’s still a very tough market out there, and some of the units are the wrong size, but we are seeing Basildon become more buoyant.”

Mr Wustefeld says BTCM keeps a record of empty stores in the outer edges of the town and there are fewer vacancies – only 14 per cent – at the retail parks.

The Local Data Company claims the average vacancy rate across Britain is 13.4 per cent.

It calculates the rate by measuring how much floor space is sitting empty in any one town.

Basildon Council tried to buy the row of East Walk shops last Autumn.

It was willing to pay £6.5million, but the deal fell through.

Discount fashion chain TK Maxx spurned the opportunity to come into Basildon town centre, opting for a unit at Pipps Hills Retail Park.

But Metro Bank has got planning permission to open on the former Barclays site in the town, and hoardings have gone up around the building.

A spokesman said: “We’ll be opening later this year.”

Comments (11)

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8:16am Thu 29 May 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Only one in five ? thats normal....
Only one in five ? thats normal.... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 5

10:07am Thu 29 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

UKIP will sort all that out..........
UKIP will sort all that out.......... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 7

10:12am Thu 29 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

But seriously.

This shows that the retail sector of the proposed billion pound redevelopment of the town centre needs to be smaller plus does Basildon really need multiple poundshop type outfits, haircutting establishments, pawnshops and costly coffee outlets? The space saved can then be used to build housing thereby reducing pressure on previously undeveloped greenbelt/green spaces/park land.
But seriously. This shows that the retail sector of the proposed billion pound redevelopment of the town centre needs to be smaller plus does Basildon really need multiple poundshop type outfits, haircutting establishments, pawnshops and costly coffee outlets? The space saved can then be used to build housing thereby reducing pressure on previously undeveloped greenbelt/green spaces/park land. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 12

10:51am Thu 29 May 14

pembury53 says...

pound shops and pay day loans is the way to go..... lynch pins of the modern economy
pound shops and pay day loans is the way to go..... lynch pins of the modern economy pembury53
  • Score: -4

5:19pm Thu 29 May 14

Anthony81 says...

And every other one is a cafe
And every other one is a cafe Anthony81
  • Score: 1

7:28pm Thu 29 May 14

Kim Gandy says...

Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what.

It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council.
Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what. It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

7:29pm Thu 29 May 14

Kim Gandy says...

....and there is a certain circling vulture who is not going to get what he expected...

and I am not referring to the Labour group this time.
....and there is a certain circling vulture who is not going to get what he expected... and I am not referring to the Labour group this time. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 2

7:57am Fri 30 May 14

supermadmax says...

Need to reduce the rent. Supply and Demand - wake up and stop being greedy.
Need to reduce the rent. Supply and Demand - wake up and stop being greedy. supermadmax
  • Score: 4

9:18pm Fri 30 May 14

ThisYear says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what.

It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council.
Im sure you will be there, as per usual, popping out of your dress, as per usual..
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what. It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council.[/p][/quote]Im sure you will be there, as per usual, popping out of your dress, as per usual.. ThisYear
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Fri 30 May 14

ThisYear says...

The Ukippers will realise they have been done like kippers when the Ukip get into the swim.."Ready...Stead
y...no change"
The Ukippers will realise they have been done like kippers when the Ukip get into the swim.."Ready...Stead y...no change" ThisYear
  • Score: 0

1:07am Sat 31 May 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what.

It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council.
Good job the D Day invasion force didnt have the UKIP mentality, of we will land and fumble and bumble doing nothing for 7 days, looks like they haven't got a clue what to do....
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Well, give the new administration a chance. They've only been elected five minutes and are still sorting out who does what. It's going to be VERY interesting when they return on June 12th at full council.[/p][/quote]Good job the D Day invasion force didnt have the UKIP mentality, of we will land and fumble and bumble doing nothing for 7 days, looks like they haven't got a clue what to do.... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: -1

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