Where are the offices to rent?

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HAILSHAM’S rosy future? I would like to wish Anton Bree, from Ross & Co, all success in his new post as chairman of Hailsham’s Chamber of Commerce (Gazette, June 20).

However, I have often wondered whether property agents in general have some responsibility for Hailsham’s town centre decline.

About 10 years ago when I rented an office in Eastbourne I wanted to move my business to Hailsham but could find no offices to rent. The only available office space was to lease.

Buying a commercial lease involves much the same process and expense as buying a leasehold home. One has to pay a lump sum of many thousands, with a hefty percentage going to the estate agent and the solicitor.

With commercial leases there is also a substantial monthly rental on top. Business rates similar to Council Tax also have to be paid to the council.

I simply could not afford all this. The office I was renting in Eastbourne only cost me £50 a week, all inclusive, so I stayed.

I suspect most small businesses are in a similar position. And in this recession things can only get worse as banks may be unwilling to lend the large sums needed to buy business leases.

I hope property owners in Hailsham will take note. Rather than leave your properties empty, why not offer them for rent?

Mrs L GRACE

Sackville Road, Hailsham