At the best of times, the planning system has a major part to play in the UK economy. Our MD Morris Greenberg was part of a 5 speaker panel which also included:
- Hannah David (Planning Futures)
- Roger Hepher (HGH Consulting)
- Steven Porter (JPC Law)
As one of the most active boutique leisure agencies in Soho we understand the importance of keeping in touch with tenants & landlords during this time.
We have been able to use our time during lock down to gain an understanding of what will happen in the market moving forward.
At the start of the year, International & Independent buyers were banging on our door to get into London. Fast forward to March, the UK was hit by Covid-19 and there was a sudden u-turn overnight. There was a realisation within the team that a lot of places would need to shut.
The Government have helped in terms of March quarter rents across the leisure property industry as schemes such as furlough have meant that tenants have not had to hand their keys back to Landlords.
We have also seen a trend in some operators making moves to put sites back on the market for mid-July as they're not entirely sure what impact Covid-19 guidelines will have on their sites and business.
There's still a premium market but much much lower than it was.
No doubt that if govt don't intervene for june quarter - we'll see a lot of people wanting to sell. suppply of empty stock on the market (landlord-led) rents will come down.
If gov't intervene, Package will be needed to help Landlords too as some will have borrowings on these sites. Not all landlords are debt free on these sites. They didnt get much help march quarter, hopefully e'll see this quarter
Dark kitchens are providing delivery & pick-up services. Operators are adapting during a time of adversity.
More needs to be done in terms of planning use - Some have been providing A5 services from A3 sites or A4 beer garden services from A3. Contradicting as a result of the confusion around Covid and businesses trying to survive.
It's inevitable we will see nightclubs going vacant.
Local authorities need to look at licenses to help restaurateurs. For example a temporary measure for the nest two years that would allow later opening times or more outside seating.
Look at UDP's to avoid empty buildings.
If you have a large retail unit becoming vacant offices above may become vacant too.
Already we're starting to see amazing new concepts where people are sitting in their own greenhouse units. This could be something restaurants could adopt in order to remain compliant with social distancing rules.
Whatever the answer is we don't want a situation where we have too many empty vacant units on the market. We would like a great offering for the restaurant industry.
For the full video on everything we've discussed, see YouTube link below: