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Leading Surrey & Berkshire land broker Aston Mead has called on councils to create more business parks across the South East, to provide new premises for small businesses who wish to relocate from their current Brownfield sites.

Company Director Adam Hesse says that there is a “log-jam” of small businesses who would happily sell their existing industrial or commercial land for redevelopment into residential accommodation, but have nowhere to move to.

He said: “Time and time again, we hear the call for more building on Brownfield sites – which is all very well if there are Brownfield sites being offered. But the truth is, there is very little suitable land available out there. Many potential sites have owners who would be more than willing to sell up and move on, if only they could find new premises to run their business from. New business parks designed with them in mind would free the log-jam of land, and allow it to be used for residential purposes instead.”

Adam Hesse suggests that there are a variety of small businesses who would jump at the chance to relocate, and would be ideally suited to a business park environment.

He explained: “I’m not talking about massive sites like former gasworks - they will already have developers crawling all over them. Instead, I’m thinking of the likes of used car lots, garage forecourts, a local builders’ yard - all of which might be ideal for constructing three or four houses or a block of apartments. What’s more, such sites are usually perfectly placed in the centre of towns or villages. But without anywhere for them to move to, they sit tight and miss out on the money which developers would willingly pass their way.”

Adam Hesse says that it is time for councils and local authorities to recognise the problem and create purpose-built premises with small businesses in mind.

He added: “Local authorities own a lot of land. In fact, they are some of the biggest landowners in the country. They could control the release of the land, the planning stipulations, and the design of the eventual build.

“If they could construct business parks on some of the ‘grubby greenbelt’ around our motorway and major road junctions, there’s no doubt small businesses would be interested in relocating there. This is not just idle speculation; I talk to such business owners every week, and that’s what they are telling me!”


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