Retail mix putting High Street prosperity at risk says business leader

Retail mix putting High Street prosperity at risk says business leader

Retail mix putting High Street prosperity at risk says business leader

First published in News by , Reporter

THE PROSPERITY of Marlow is under threat with too many cafes and restaurants appearing on the High Street say business leaders in the town.

The balance of Marlow’s thriving High Street has tipped towards eateries and coffee houses according to Marlow Chamber of Commerce President Tim Graham.

This week, Mr Graham told a meeting of Marlow business leaders the rapid turnover of retail outlets in the town centre is becoming a worryingly trend.

With several planning applications appearing in the last few months to replace shops with restaurants, Mr Graham fears if the economy takes another hit, Marlow’s thriving centre could be put at risk.

He said: "One of the biggest issues facing Marlow is the curtailment of retail and the turnover generally of businesses.

"One person moves out, one person moves in and though there always seems to be a business to replace them but the worry is the nature of the businesses in Marlow are becoming more focuses and less general.

"There is a large influx of cafes and restaurants, and while they’re doing well and that’s great, if there is a hiccup in the economy and this type of business no longer succeeds we might just catch a cold.

"We need to a rich mix of businesses and to retain a balance."

Several new cafes and eateries have sprung up in Marlow over the last few months, including Thai restaurant Giggling Squid, French chain Cote Brasserie which is due to open next week and a second Costa Coffee.

New restaurants are also set to replace shops and office premises, with a planning application to convert gift shop Lorimers into a pizza and grill house.

And cafe chain Bill’s wants to move into an old office in West Street.

There are fears that as a magnet for tourists and shoppers, a more balanced selection of retail stores is needed to ensure Marlow continues as a vibrant ‘destination’ town.

Marlow councillor and former Wycombe District Council leader Alex Collingwood said at Monday’s meeting that the council intends to work with businesses to achieve a healthy retail mix in Marlow.

The politician, also a member of the Chamber through his work with Barclays Bank, said: "Retail balance is a key point for the town and I will sit down with the Chamber chairman and discuss it.

"I want us (the Chamber) to feed in directly to the Local Plan and have a more dramatic role.

"It’s about striking a balance. The worry is there are getting to be as many restaurants as we can take."

Comments (18)

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9:35am Sun 25 May 14

RG2014 says...

DIVERSITY IN MARLOW HIGH STREET
There is no question that Marlow High Street is swamped not only by restaurants and coffee bars, but is also dominated by national retail chains.

It would be easy to blame this paucity of diversity and balance on greedy landlords who want, rather than need to squeeze every last penny out of their tenants.

However, this is only a part of the problem and it is the town and the residents who also need to look long and hard at themselves.
While it is certainly true that the small independent needs to do his research and determine how he can carve himself a successful niche and then meet those requirements, the locals need to support these enterprises and not just wring their hands when they disappear.

It really is appalling that Marlow High Street and the streets immediately off it, no longer offer a delicatessen, a greengrocer, a butcher, a fishmonger, a hardware store or a bookshop. All of these have been and gone within the 30 years that I have lived in the town. All too often one hears the excuse, “Oh I can buy that cheaper in the supermarket”. Perhaps, but now ask if it is of the same quality whether of product or service or all the other small touches that a good and successful small independent offers.

Can the town council itself do anything to help?
While hands are tied when it comes to business rates or even controlling what type of outlet an empty property becomes, it can at least encourage visitors and shoppers by offering plenty of time-limited free parking. The high street itself has a very small amount of free parking, but the rates the council charges in the carparks are eye-watering (Court Gardens is £1.20 for up to 2 hours!). To say the least, this is hardly conducive to encouraging shoppers when they can park for free in hypermarket and shopping mall carparks, and indeed, in a good many more enlightened town centres.

Can the landlords do anything?
Indeed they can, as is well exemplified by De Walden Estates who own Marylebone High Street and the immediate surround. I am sure I am right to say that small independents are encouraged to set up and stay in business by being offered reduced rents. As a result, this small area supports a fantastic and vibrant range of retailers, restaurants, banks, fashion outlets, book shops, specialist food shops and so and so on.

But in the end, though the independent can be offered all sorts of incentives to set up shop, and then play his own part, if the local population does not come to the party, it’s no good complaining that Marlow’s high street has become yet another boring clone.

RG2014
DIVERSITY IN MARLOW HIGH STREET There is no question that Marlow High Street is swamped not only by restaurants and coffee bars, but is also dominated by national retail chains. It would be easy to blame this paucity of diversity and balance on greedy landlords who want, rather than need to squeeze every last penny out of their tenants. However, this is only a part of the problem and it is the town and the residents who also need to look long and hard at themselves. While it is certainly true that the small independent needs to do his research and determine how he can carve himself a successful niche and then meet those requirements, the locals need to support these enterprises and not just wring their hands when they disappear. It really is appalling that Marlow High Street and the streets immediately off it, no longer offer a delicatessen, a greengrocer, a butcher, a fishmonger, a hardware store or a bookshop. All of these have been and gone within the 30 years that I have lived in the town. All too often one hears the excuse, “Oh I can buy that cheaper in the supermarket”. Perhaps, but now ask if it is of the same quality whether of product or service or all the other small touches that a good and successful small independent offers. Can the town council itself do anything to help? While hands are tied when it comes to business rates or even controlling what type of outlet an empty property becomes, it can at least encourage visitors and shoppers by offering plenty of time-limited free parking. The high street itself has a very small amount of free parking, but the rates the council charges in the carparks are eye-watering (Court Gardens is £1.20 for up to 2 hours!). To say the least, this is hardly conducive to encouraging shoppers when they can park for free in hypermarket and shopping mall carparks, and indeed, in a good many more enlightened town centres. Can the landlords do anything? Indeed they can, as is well exemplified by De Walden Estates who own Marylebone High Street and the immediate surround. I am sure I am right to say that small independents are encouraged to set up and stay in business by being offered reduced rents. As a result, this small area supports a fantastic and vibrant range of retailers, restaurants, banks, fashion outlets, book shops, specialist food shops and so and so on. But in the end, though the independent can be offered all sorts of incentives to set up shop, and then play his own part, if the local population does not come to the party, it’s no good complaining that Marlow’s high street has become yet another boring clone. RG2014 RG2014
  • Score: 7

11:37am Sun 25 May 14

sparky49 says...

Well said.
Well said. sparky49
  • Score: 2

6:29pm Sun 25 May 14

gpn01 says...

The dynamics of the High Street and business in general is changing. Whether or not you agree with it or support it, the way people shop has shifted. More and more non-perishible goods are bought on line. Customers happily shop in supermarkets which have a deli, butcher, baker and candlestick maker and, as well as being under one roof, are probably cheaper than independents. If people genuinely prefer to pay more for independent shops then why do so few remain?

Business relies less and less on physical location and more and more on connectivity. The area already has an abundance of under utilised commercial spaces/places. It seems bizarre that whilst there are so many empty units at Globe Park that the Council is promoting the notion of building another commercial site at Little Marlow.

Ultimately business thrives when there's a match between demand and supply. That makes basic economic sense. If the demand is from people who want to eat and drink then why put in place obstacles to prevent it? Surely something that attracts visitors is a positive and should be encouraged? Those who moan that there are too many coffee shops or cafes should accept that if people can open these premises and have a sustainable business then this proves that there aren't too many and that they are simply fulfilling demand. If there's more money to be made by opening a deli, fishmonger or butcher then an entrepreneur would quickly spot the opportunity to start something. The fact that they don't proves that there isn't sufficient demand.
The dynamics of the High Street and business in general is changing. Whether or not you agree with it or support it, the way people shop has shifted. More and more non-perishible goods are bought on line. Customers happily shop in supermarkets which have a deli, butcher, baker and candlestick maker and, as well as being under one roof, are probably cheaper than independents. If people genuinely prefer to pay more for independent shops then why do so few remain? Business relies less and less on physical location and more and more on connectivity. The area already has an abundance of under utilised commercial spaces/places. It seems bizarre that whilst there are so many empty units at Globe Park that the Council is promoting the notion of building another commercial site at Little Marlow. Ultimately business thrives when there's a match between demand and supply. That makes basic economic sense. If the demand is from people who want to eat and drink then why put in place obstacles to prevent it? Surely something that attracts visitors is a positive and should be encouraged? Those who moan that there are too many coffee shops or cafes should accept that if people can open these premises and have a sustainable business then this proves that there aren't too many and that they are simply fulfilling demand. If there's more money to be made by opening a deli, fishmonger or butcher then an entrepreneur would quickly spot the opportunity to start something. The fact that they don't proves that there isn't sufficient demand. gpn01
  • Score: 4

8:49pm Sun 25 May 14

RG2014 says...

To some extent, what gpn01 writes is true, but having read his post several times, and I’m more than happy to be corrected on this, the overriding thrust of his argument is that market forces, aka profit, should be allowed to rule regardless of the cost to quality of life in its broadest senses.

To take that argument only a little further, would gpn01 therefore support the idea of selling off allotments or school playgrounds or other open spaces for housing or hypermarket development, for that is where the greatest profit lies?
To some extent, what gpn01 writes is true, but having read his post several times, and I’m more than happy to be corrected on this, the overriding thrust of his argument is that market forces, aka profit, should be allowed to rule regardless of the cost to quality of life in its broadest senses. To take that argument only a little further, would gpn01 therefore support the idea of selling off allotments or school playgrounds or other open spaces for housing or hypermarket development, for that is where the greatest profit lies? RG2014
  • Score: 2

9:15pm Sun 25 May 14

gpn01 says...

RG2014 wrote:
To some extent, what gpn01 writes is true, but having read his post several times, and I’m more than happy to be corrected on this, the overriding thrust of his argument is that market forces, aka profit, should be allowed to rule regardless of the cost to quality of life in its broadest senses.

To take that argument only a little further, would gpn01 therefore support the idea of selling off allotments or school playgrounds or other open spaces for housing or hypermarket development, for that is where the greatest profit lies?
My opinion is quite simple. For private enterprise the over riding driver is indeed to make a profit. For public facilities, such as allotments, schools, etc. then the driver should be public amenity. Please don't assume that private sector rules should be applied to public and community facilities.
[quote][p][bold]RG2014[/bold] wrote: To some extent, what gpn01 writes is true, but having read his post several times, and I’m more than happy to be corrected on this, the overriding thrust of his argument is that market forces, aka profit, should be allowed to rule regardless of the cost to quality of life in its broadest senses. To take that argument only a little further, would gpn01 therefore support the idea of selling off allotments or school playgrounds or other open spaces for housing or hypermarket development, for that is where the greatest profit lies?[/p][/quote]My opinion is quite simple. For private enterprise the over riding driver is indeed to make a profit. For public facilities, such as allotments, schools, etc. then the driver should be public amenity. Please don't assume that private sector rules should be applied to public and community facilities. gpn01
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Sun 25 May 14

retchub says...

seems like princes risborough more and more coffee shops plus charity ones. but who can servive whilst supermarkets dominate and dictate to suppliers which the independant is unable to do.
seems like princes risborough more and more coffee shops plus charity ones. but who can servive whilst supermarkets dominate and dictate to suppliers which the independant is unable to do. retchub
  • Score: 2

8:09am Mon 26 May 14

RG2014 says...

You're not quite right, though there is no denying that life is tough for the independent who obviously lacks the financial resources of the big chains. If they set out their stall correctly (sorry about the pun) then they can and indeed do flourish.

Steam Trading at the top of Marlow High Street is actually a modest multiple with 28 outlets across the country (so their site tells us), but they have certainly found their niche.

Phil Bowditch, the fishmonger/butcher who was forced out of his high street site several years back, re-sited about a mile along the Bourne End road. For obvious reasons, this is far from convenient, yet that shop now thrives, proving that quality can indeed triumph over price.

But to get back to where this started .......
Why are we hearing nothing more from either Marlow Chamber of Commerce or even the council?

It would be interesting to learn what the latter in particular can and/or is prepared to do to prevent Marlow High Street becoming a dull clone with shops regularly opening and then closing.
You're not quite right, though there is no denying that life is tough for the independent who obviously lacks the financial resources of the big chains. If they set out their stall correctly (sorry about the pun) then they can and indeed do flourish. Steam Trading at the top of Marlow High Street is actually a modest multiple with 28 outlets across the country (so their site tells us), but they have certainly found their niche. Phil Bowditch, the fishmonger/butcher who was forced out of his high street site several years back, re-sited about a mile along the Bourne End road. For obvious reasons, this is far from convenient, yet that shop now thrives, proving that quality can indeed triumph over price. But to get back to where this started ....... Why are we hearing nothing more from either Marlow Chamber of Commerce or even the council? It would be interesting to learn what the latter in particular can and/or is prepared to do to prevent Marlow High Street becoming a dull clone with shops regularly opening and then closing. RG2014
  • Score: 1

11:41am Mon 26 May 14

Malc London says...

Anyone who thinks that a supermarket is cheaper than a local greengrocer probably hasn't visited one. A local butcher can also be competitive.

It's wrong to blame food and coffee outlets, these generate footfall to a shopping area.

And a shop being used is better than an empty one.
Anyone who thinks that a supermarket is cheaper than a local greengrocer probably hasn't visited one. A local butcher can also be competitive. It's wrong to blame food and coffee outlets, these generate footfall to a shopping area. And a shop being used is better than an empty one. Malc London
  • Score: 1

11:50am Mon 26 May 14

RG2014 says...

You seem to have rather missed the point
Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance.

By the way, how can the local greengrocer or butcher compete with supermarkets in Marlow when neither exists in the town any more!

Of course empty shops are bad news, especially if you're the landlord and in the firing line for the business rates.
Why else would they be happy to lease to charity shops, no doubt for relatively peppercorn rents?
You seem to have rather missed the point Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance. By the way, how can the local greengrocer or butcher compete with supermarkets in Marlow when neither exists in the town any more! Of course empty shops are bad news, especially if you're the landlord and in the firing line for the business rates. Why else would they be happy to lease to charity shops, no doubt for relatively peppercorn rents? RG2014
  • Score: 2

12:26pm Mon 26 May 14

sparky49 says...

retchub wrote:
seems like princes risborough more and more coffee shops plus charity ones. but who can servive whilst supermarkets dominate and dictate to suppliers which the independant is unable to do.
They only survive because people use them instead of independants.
[quote][p][bold]retchub[/bold] wrote: seems like princes risborough more and more coffee shops plus charity ones. but who can servive whilst supermarkets dominate and dictate to suppliers which the independant is unable to do.[/p][/quote]They only survive because people use them instead of independants. sparky49
  • Score: 1

12:32pm Tue 27 May 14

gpn01 says...

RG2014 wrote:
You seem to have rather missed the point
Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance.

By the way, how can the local greengrocer or butcher compete with supermarkets in Marlow when neither exists in the town any more!

Of course empty shops are bad news, especially if you're the landlord and in the firing line for the business rates.
Why else would they be happy to lease to charity shops, no doubt for relatively peppercorn rents?
On what basis are you makingthe assertion that "Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance"? If there were too many coffee shops and restaurants then they'd soon start closing as supply outstripped demand. The fact that more are opening suggests that the oppositie is true and that there continues to be unmet demand. As for an overall balance, again this is addressed through simple economics and entrepreneurial spirit - if someone thinks that they could make more money by opening something other than a coffee shop or restaurant then, assuming there are no barriers to trade, they would. If you think there's an inbalance then please explain what sort of shops you think could viably operate in the area.
[quote][p][bold]RG2014[/bold] wrote: You seem to have rather missed the point Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance. By the way, how can the local greengrocer or butcher compete with supermarkets in Marlow when neither exists in the town any more! Of course empty shops are bad news, especially if you're the landlord and in the firing line for the business rates. Why else would they be happy to lease to charity shops, no doubt for relatively peppercorn rents?[/p][/quote]On what basis are you makingthe assertion that "Marlow is currently getting overrun with coffee bars and restaurants to the detriment of an overall balance"? If there were too many coffee shops and restaurants then they'd soon start closing as supply outstripped demand. The fact that more are opening suggests that the oppositie is true and that there continues to be unmet demand. As for an overall balance, again this is addressed through simple economics and entrepreneurial spirit - if someone thinks that they could make more money by opening something other than a coffee shop or restaurant then, assuming there are no barriers to trade, they would. If you think there's an inbalance then please explain what sort of shops you think could viably operate in the area. gpn01
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Tue 27 May 14

RG2014 says...

There's no need to c+p my post before responding!

As I said at the outset, in part you are correct insofar that if a shop does not supply what the public wants, then it will go out of business, and of course that equally applies to coffee bars and restaurants.

However, while landlords in Marlow would seem to have but a single goal, it is good to see that the Chamber of Commerce is also concerned by the lack of retail variety in the town.

I may well be wrong today, but it certainly used to be the case that new restaurants had to be licenced (to operate) by the council. For sure, Kensington & Chelsea put a block on new restaurants being opened in the Portobello Market area, and I assume that still applies.

As I have made very clear, I would love to see a far greater variety of retailers in the high street and the surrounding streets - in that respect, it's good to see Saddle Safari being so successful - as in my opinion, that can only help Marlow to thrive and grow and prosper.

Of course, and as I made very clear at the outset, the locals have to play their part by supporting local enterprise too, always assuming these shops aren't deterred by the cost of setting up from the outset.

Meanwhile, it's a great shame that the council remains either oblivious or uninterested or both.
There's no need to c+p my post before responding! As I said at the outset, in part you are correct insofar that if a shop does not supply what the public wants, then it will go out of business, and of course that equally applies to coffee bars and restaurants. However, while landlords in Marlow would seem to have but a single goal, it is good to see that the Chamber of Commerce is also concerned by the lack of retail variety in the town. I may well be wrong today, but it certainly used to be the case that new restaurants had to be licenced (to operate) by the council. For sure, Kensington & Chelsea put a block on new restaurants being opened in the Portobello Market area, and I assume that still applies. As I have made very clear, I would love to see a far greater variety of retailers in the high street and the surrounding streets - in that respect, it's good to see Saddle Safari being so successful - as in my opinion, that can only help Marlow to thrive and grow and prosper. Of course, and as I made very clear at the outset, the locals have to play their part by supporting local enterprise too, always assuming these shops aren't deterred by the cost of setting up from the outset. Meanwhile, it's a great shame that the council remains either oblivious or uninterested or both. RG2014
  • Score: 1

2:41pm Tue 27 May 14

gpn01 says...

@RG2014 I suspect there are actually areas that we can agree as I support the notion that we should aspire to providing a range of shops (if economicaly viable).

The best way for locals to support business is for them to have a complelling reason to provide that support - range, quality, convenienence and price all come into the mix. More importantly however, the best wya for local business to flourish is to attract non-locals to shop in the town. The population of Marlow is around 18,000 and that simply doesn't provide the footfall and spending capacity alone. That's why the town needs to be a destination that attracts visitors and encourages them to spend money.
@RG2014 I suspect there are actually areas that we can agree as I support the notion that we should aspire to providing a range of shops (if economicaly viable). The best way for locals to support business is for them to have a complelling reason to provide that support - range, quality, convenienence and price all come into the mix. More importantly however, the best wya for local business to flourish is to attract non-locals to shop in the town. The population of Marlow is around 18,000 and that simply doesn't provide the footfall and spending capacity alone. That's why the town needs to be a destination that attracts visitors and encourages them to spend money. gpn01
  • Score: 1

3:24pm Tue 27 May 14

RG2014 says...

Eureka :-) !

Now please humour me a little ......
Firstly, man shall not live by bread, pizza and coffee alone, so it follows that the town needs variety - which is pretty much where this whole blog and article started.

But to continue ......
Phil Bowditch and his predecessors flourished as butchers and fishmongers on the same site in the high street for over 100 years.
Several years ago, he was forced out so the landlord could redevelop – it’s now Vodafone; so there's a starter for you to ponder.

The shop subsequently relocated about a mile out of town towards Bourne End, where it flourishes once more.
The meat and fish are both significantly (I think) more expensive than the supermarkets, but clearly quality prevails, and this despite the inconvenience of having to travel out of town.

Had affordable (not giveaway) lease terms for suitable alternative premises been available, then there must surely have been a good chance that we would still have a quality butcher/fishmonger in the town. At least as importantly, because “quality” was being offered, it is not fanciful to think that that would have encouraged similar sister trades to move in, whereas we currently have none.

By providing this variety, it would of course also encourage outsiders both as visitors and as regular shoppers
On the other hand, Marlow now consistently sports a good selection of empty and charity shops!

I’m sorry if the above is a bit verbose, but I wanted to use a genuine example of how, with thought and sensible collaboration, the town, the locals and everyone else, including the landlords as it happens, could benefit both financially and in “quality of life” – not the best phrase I’m afraid.
Eureka :-) ! Now please humour me a little ...... Firstly, man shall not live by bread, pizza and coffee alone, so it follows that the town needs variety - which is pretty much where this whole blog and article started. But to continue ...... Phil Bowditch and his predecessors flourished as butchers and fishmongers on the same site in the high street for over 100 years. Several years ago, he was forced out so the landlord could redevelop – it’s now Vodafone; so there's a starter for you to ponder. The shop subsequently relocated about a mile out of town towards Bourne End, where it flourishes once more. The meat and fish are both significantly (I think) more expensive than the supermarkets, but clearly quality prevails, and this despite the inconvenience of having to travel out of town. Had affordable (not giveaway) lease terms for suitable alternative premises been available, then there must surely have been a good chance that we would still have a quality butcher/fishmonger in the town. At least as importantly, because “quality” was being offered, it is not fanciful to think that that would have encouraged similar sister trades to move in, whereas we currently have none. By providing this variety, it would of course also encourage outsiders both as visitors and as regular shoppers On the other hand, Marlow now consistently sports a good selection of empty and charity shops! I’m sorry if the above is a bit verbose, but I wanted to use a genuine example of how, with thought and sensible collaboration, the town, the locals and everyone else, including the landlords as it happens, could benefit both financially and in “quality of life” – not the best phrase I’m afraid. RG2014
  • Score: 1

8:24am Wed 28 May 14

gpn01 says...

"it’s now Vodafone; so there's a starter for you to ponder".....I have. As a Vodafone customer I find it great that there's a local store that I can pop into as previously I had to go elsewhere. No doubt other people may now be attracted to Marlow because it provides access to a major mobile phone provider.

The simple point is that a shop will charge whatever it can to ensure it remains in business. Likewise a property owner will seek to obtain the maximum return on their investment that they can. If a national chain is willing to pay more to rent a shop than an independent then it makes commercial sense to accept the opportunity. If a landlord is a company with shareholders then it has an obligation to maximise its return on shareholder equity.

Finally it's important to realise that having some empty properties and some charityy shops is simply part of an economic cycle. Compared to many other towns (and in fact regions) Marlow remains a thriving and attractive place. We should focus on how to maintain this vibrancy whilst acknowledging that there may not be room in a modern town, that is meeting the needs of modern consumers, for some of the more traditional traders unless they can be profitable.
"it’s now Vodafone; so there's a starter for you to ponder".....I have. As a Vodafone customer I find it great that there's a local store that I can pop into as previously I had to go elsewhere. No doubt other people may now be attracted to Marlow because it provides access to a major mobile phone provider. The simple point is that a shop will charge whatever it can to ensure it remains in business. Likewise a property owner will seek to obtain the maximum return on their investment that they can. If a national chain is willing to pay more to rent a shop than an independent then it makes commercial sense to accept the opportunity. If a landlord is a company with shareholders then it has an obligation to maximise its return on shareholder equity. Finally it's important to realise that having some empty properties and some charityy shops is simply part of an economic cycle. Compared to many other towns (and in fact regions) Marlow remains a thriving and attractive place. We should focus on how to maintain this vibrancy whilst acknowledging that there may not be room in a modern town, that is meeting the needs of modern consumers, for some of the more traditional traders unless they can be profitable. gpn01
  • Score: 1

9:41am Wed 28 May 14

RG2014 says...

gpn01 - You'r reaction to my last post was pretty much predictable :-)
I merely made a non-judgmental observation about Vodafone taking over that particular site.

By the way, I too am a Vodafone customer and also a landlord of both commercial and residential property, though not in Marlow.

Meanwhile, input from both Marlow Chamber of Commerce and the council is forlornly awaited
gpn01 - You'r reaction to my last post was pretty much predictable :-) I merely made a non-judgmental observation about Vodafone taking over that particular site. By the way, I too am a Vodafone customer and also a landlord of both commercial and residential property, though not in Marlow. Meanwhile, input from both Marlow Chamber of Commerce and the council is forlornly awaited RG2014
  • Score: 1

1:14pm Wed 28 May 14

gpn01 says...

RG2014, you asked me to ponder..and I did and provided a reasoned response. I have no doubt that my response would be predictible as I believe I have been consistent in what I have previously stated...in essence that demand and supply and market forces shape a town.

Whether any input to the Wycombe Local Plan by the Marlow Chamber of Commerce and Council will be of any consequence remains to be seen. From what I've seen to date the consultation process seems to have focussed around how to hit the Government's house building targets and not to fully incorporate the aesthetics and qualatative aspects of town planning.
RG2014, you asked me to ponder..and I did and provided a reasoned response. I have no doubt that my response would be predictible as I believe I have been consistent in what I have previously stated...in essence that demand and supply and market forces shape a town. Whether any input to the Wycombe Local Plan by the Marlow Chamber of Commerce and Council will be of any consequence remains to be seen. From what I've seen to date the consultation process seems to have focussed around how to hit the Government's house building targets and not to fully incorporate the aesthetics and qualatative aspects of town planning. gpn01
  • Score: 1

3:49pm Wed 28 May 14

RG2014 says...

I fear you are right to which one might also add that local councils are also more focussed on filling their coffers via various well known and publicised channels, than listening to what their constituents might want.

Even more annoying is that when councils do on occasion appear to back local wishes, central government overrules this when the developer goes to appeal.
So much for the much vaunted statements to the contrary that are put about!

Meanwhile, and as I have written before, the reluctance of the council and MCofC to join us in debate is a sad reflection of their selective hearing - or vision as might be more appropriate here.
I fear you are right to which one might also add that local councils are also more focussed on filling their coffers via various well known and publicised channels, than listening to what their constituents might want. Even more annoying is that when councils do on occasion appear to back local wishes, central government overrules this when the developer goes to appeal. So much for the much vaunted statements to the contrary that are put about! Meanwhile, and as I have written before, the reluctance of the council and MCofC to join us in debate is a sad reflection of their selective hearing - or vision as might be more appropriate here. RG2014
  • Score: 1

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