Letchworth business owners positive on meeting to agree rents


- Credit: Sarah Allison

BUSINESS owners in a town have said a meeting with the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (LGCHF) over proposals to increase ground rent has been positive.

Business owners from the Woodside Industrial Park in Letchworth GC met with officials from LGCHF on Monday, after finally agreeing to a meeting with them following a report in the Comet.

Dave Poole, owner of Autolube, said: “We have agreed to cut out the legal aspect in all this, which has racked up thousands of pounds over the years, and have arranged for another meeting at the end of the month where we will discuss what rent we will all pay.

“In all honesty this should have happened five years ago, but nevertheless this is a positive step forward. I just hope they live up to their word when it comes to the meeting at the end of the month.”

Mr Poole, who has owned his business in Works Road for the past 23 years, said that if the LGCHF increased its ground rent by thousands of pounds – from a nominal rate – it would lead to many businesses having to close, leaving many people out of a job in the area. The group of 22 businesses that trade from the industrial park have claimed they had tried for years to arrange a meeting with the LGCHF to discuss the proposed rent increase, but said this fell on deaf ears.

Business owners have acknowledged there needs to be a rent increase, but say it should be fair and reasonable.