Borehamwood: Community Should Support Shops

14 January 2013, 06:00

Hertsmere Council are this week to consider relaxing the planning rules that commercial landlords have to abide by - to save a busy shopping thoroughfare.

The Shenley Road in Borehamwood - which runs between Elstree and Borehamwood Station and the Elstree tv and film studios - has begun to see fewer shoppers and more boarded up and empty shops says local councillor Seamus Quilty.

The Hertsmere Councillor for Housing and Economic Development has spoken to Heart to ask local residents not to always shun their own shops in favour of out-of-town shops or the internet.

"In Shenley Road, we've got 15% of empty shops - that's around 16 or 17 stores. The problem as we see it, is this - a number of the shops are owned by the same landlord. But council do not own these shops, it's the landlords who let these shops."

Cllr Quilty added: "What we'd like to do is get these shops back to use at the earliest convenience. Local residents should use the local shops, but of course we understand people like to go to out-of-town stores and shop on-line. But we have a number of local initiatives to try to regenerate the Shenley Road.

So, our local shops fit for purpose? We're looking at this and whether we do have the right level of shops in the right areas. This week at full-council (Wednesday evening), we'll discuss our plan to talk to landlords to promote different styles of shops and we'll consider introducing a Local Development Order - which would mean local landlords would find it easier to let their shops out to a greater variety of shops than we have now.

But at the end of it all, local residents have to use them or lose them."