‘Current Economical Climate’ Sees Plans to Partially Convert Retail Space…….

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  • #118061
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    Don’t agree with you on this topic Swan, nor indeed with Ian Lucas. Just to deal with a couple of your points.

    You state that the areas of Hope, Regent, Lord, (etc) streets are “finished and there is no way to bring retail back to them”. Interesting. That conclusion seems to suggest that the potential remedies for the malaise have been exhausted and if that were so I would accept your argument. Of course, the ,main deterrent to shops occupying these shops is the level of Rates upon them and yet these are still set in Wales at the values in play in 2008, at the peak of the Retail boom. I am in Bank Street, and my shop has a Rateable value on it of over £14,000 (paying over £7000 pa). I would love to go onto any of the streets you mention yet cannot afford the Rates which are now artificially high. The Labour run Welsh Assembly could address this matter and Ian Lucas’ observations on Housing are a deflection from what needs to be done.

    The Groves site has a Covenant on it and your observations on this and the Bus Station/Eagles Meadow scenario don’t seem to add to the theme of being forward looking.

    You talk about the need for “People” and yet seem to neglect the fact that there is a Chicken and an Egg in play on this question. People go where there are attractions and if you want evidence of this witness over 20,000 “People” packing out the Racecourse when the Stereophonics played. Drop the Rates and Entrepreneurs will occupy the shops, occupy the shops and the people will turn up

    #118062
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    On the remarks by Ian Lucas reported in the various media outlets this week

    Housing, as envisaged here, would be a disaster for Wrexham and merely reveals the lack of rounded thinking on this subject. My shop is in Bank Street, a mere 200 metres from the disaster that is Henblas Street. My Rates payable, on a small shop, are over £7000 a year, and I have to pay for refuse collection on top of that. If my unit, for example, was converted from Retail to Housing, the Rates would have to drop to perhaps £1000+, including Refuse collection. Rather than envisage that, why not merely slash the Rates on all of the units in close proximity, Henblas Street included, and give Enterprise a fighting chance. To convert to Housing, with the financial implications to the public purse thereof, is a foot-shooting exercise which will merely strip out Revenue from the public purse. Additionally, the Wrexham Local Government Plan 2013-2028 clearly explains the vital significance of retaining Enterprise in this crucial part of the town because if the town planners hole out the centre, the town will fracture to its overall disadvantage

    #118114

    MargaretA
    Participant

    Careful what we wish for indeed! Converting empty shops into residential premises may be part of the solution. What have other towns done? Who is going to rent or buy these quality apartments? Many ‘quality’ jobs have gone. So is it likely the apartments would be filled with people working in Chester or elsewhere and it may become a dormitory area. Consider also the number of jobs which the Council have relocated to Redwither etc from the town centre, for instance the Education Department. No doubt this has saved the Council money, but it is a significant loss of day time trade from the town centre. The demise of the town centre has many strands and will need a lot of energy and new thinking to change this. The Town Centre Forum has energy, the Council need to talk to and listen to stakeholders, hold public meetings and listen. Their mantra is ‘ We do not have the money ‘. There does seem to be an unwillingness to listen. Perhaps they are all just marking time until the next election!1

    #118156

    JoanTheHog
    Participant

    On the remarks by Ian Lucas reported in the various media outlets this week

    Housing, as envisaged here, would be a disaster for Wrexham and merely reveals the lack of rounded thinking on this subject. My shop is in Bank Street, a mere 200 metres from the disaster that is Henblas Street. My Rates payable, on a small shop, are over £7000 a year, and I have to pay for refuse collection on top of that. If my unit, for example, was converted from Retail to Housing, the Rates would have to drop to perhaps £1000+, including Refuse collection. Rather than envisage that, why not merely slash the Rates on all of the units in close proximity, Henblas Street included, and give Enterprise a fighting chance. To convert to Housing, with the financial implications to the public purse thereof, is a foot-shooting exercise which will merely strip out Revenue from the public purse. Additionally, the Wrexham Local Government Plan 2013-2028 clearly explains the vital significance of retaining Enterprise in this crucial part of the town because if the town planners hole out the centre, the town will fracture to its overall disadvantage

    I agree with your sentiment, but as the following post goes on there needs to be a consistent stream of jobs for people to have the wages to pay such “luxuary”. As you have stated your council tax or business rates are over £7000+ the council are or at least seem preoccupied with taking your money & seem to give very little in return.

    #118222
    Sheefag
    Sheefag
    Participant

    Sshhh Joan, grown-ups are talking.

    #118231

    Nen
    Participant

    If they’re going to start putting housing in there, it sounds like they are going down the “Rhyl” model. That went well….

    #118238

    MP1953
    Participant

    If they’re going to start putting housing in there, it sounds like they are going down the “Rhyl” model. That went well….

    Certain parts of the town are already starting to look like Rhyl :(

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

    #118243

    MargaretA
    Participant

    Rails of clothing hanging in the main street give the town a ‘Rhyl look’. I thought that positions of signs, goods etc outside of shops were regulated, so as not to cause hazards to blind and partially sighted people. If so, who controls it?

    #118329

    Katia
    Participant

    In this I agree with what Mr Lucas said recently in trying to encourage landlords to rethink there properties in the town I believe this is nothing to do with rents or rates but somehow getting the council to fund the regeneration of residential life in this central area.

    Swan, it is EVERYTHING to do with rents or rates.

    Consider for one moment if in a parallel universe there were neither rents or rates to pay.
    Instead have business owners being paid to open up shops, bars, cafes etc.
    Imagine how busy the town would be !
    If that sounds ridiculous – research how large out of town developments are incentivised all over the world.

    Disregarding rents, reflect on the posted annual rateable values of the Henblas Street units (inc. TJs) £935,000 plus the posted service charges £70,440 – thats a lot of Council Tax to find from town centre dwellers.
    Factor in also that with a reduced retail offer council car parking income will be greatly diminished.

    So replacing retail with residential would not be feasible.

    I’m not against encouraging people to live in Wrexham town centre.
    There are plenty of suitable locations above existing retail units that could be converted to appealing apartments. These could be added to the existing residential opportunities, such as the flats in Chester Street opposite the old KwikSave, the flats in King Street, the flats at the old Border Brewery, the flats at Eagles Meadow, and lots of others already available above various shops, offices and food outlets.
    In fact it could be argued that anybody wishing to live in the town centre has plenty of choice already.

    Given the restrictions of living in the centre of town it may be a reasonable idea to quantify exactly how many would aspire to do so, and exactly what their lifestyles would likely offer as a boost to the local shops and businesses ?
    If they are impoverished students, or twenty somethings glued to their X-Boxes 24/7 probably not much !

    Large Town Centre Site Up To Let – Will New ‘Heart Of Town Centre’ Be Delivered?

    I like the idea of Denbighshire’s #LoveLiveLocal #CaruBusnesauLleol campaign.

    Maybe our Town Centre Manager could come up with something similar.

    Over to you Amanda !

    https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/business/business-support-and-advice/love-live-local-caru-busnesau-lleol.aspx

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