Row over Hatfield shop rents deepens as business chief slams council

PUBLISHED: 11:01 27 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:01 27 February 2015

George Embleton lettings manager Kings Estate Agents, chairman of Chamber of Commerce Nick Brown, Ashwin Shah from Smarty, Ram Singireddy from Aaroh Foods, Salim Qassimali from Master Pound, Jay Taylor from Discount Furniture

George Embleton lettings manager Kings Estate Agents, chairman of Chamber of Commerce Nick Brown, Ashwin Shah from Smarty, Ram Singireddy from Aaroh Foods, Salim Qassimali from Master Pound, Jay Taylor from Discount Furniture

Archant

The leader of Welwyn Hatfield's business community has joined owners of town centre shops to implore council chiefs not to impose crippling rent increases.

The borough council, which bought much of Hatfield town centre from property company St Modwen last year, has offered its tenants renewed leases at three or even four times the current rents.

Nick Brown, chairman of Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce, told the WHT: “If the rents go up significantly, they [the council] are looking after their own interests, not the interests of business and employment.

“These guys are the thin end of the wedge. It will affect everybody.

“These people have held White Lion Square together for the last 10 years. They have spent 10 years building a business.

“Now they are going to be put out of business.”

Jay Taylor, owner of Discount Furniture in White Lion Square, said: “There are lots of empty units here, and no-one is taking them.

“It is because the rents are too high.”

For the full story, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, on sale now

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