The Gosport branch of Burtons closed several months ago. It was a difficult choice to choose what was the saddest image of the thirteen shops I pictured this afternoon as I walked along the High Street, I’m not sure that this is the one that has been closed longest, it’s probably not, but it serves to illustrate one of the problems with what should be the towns premier shopping area.
At the very least, if the empty shops were turned into residential units it would be serving a useful purpose. I don’t know what the position is regarding rates, which I presume sends income to the local authority (I must admit, I don’t really know how business rates works). To have these unit closed must represent a significant loss of income. Or, perhaps, even though the units are closed, perhaps the owners continue to pay some level of rates? That must really hurt.
I don’t think I’m getting political here. I hope not. I’m sure a solution will appear somewhere along the line.