Are landlords too greedy?

It was really sad to walk through Lace Walk on Saturday morning and find workmen covering the windows which only 24 hours before had drawn shoppers into the M & S Simply Food store.

It was really sad to walk through Lace Walk on Saturday morning and find workmen covering the windows which only 24 hours before had drawn shoppers into the M & S Simply Food store. The sight was unhappy for two reasons because the heavy boarding being used suggested there was nobody in sight to move into this prime spot for Honiton shoppers and also that the site owners knew the vandals, who regularly make late night visits to Lace Walk, couldn't have resisted smashing the large window if they were unprotected. Many Honiton residents feel high rents demanded - not just in Lace Walk but the High street and New Street - have led to small businesses closing down.As for those people who previously said M & S was a foodstore "not suited for many Honiton shoppers", having passed the boarding-up workmen I next walked up and down the High Street and, despite the sunshine, it was obvious there were far fewer people shopping or talking in town. Later, I saw less vehicles in the main car park.Iceland cannot arrive quickly enough (and the promised refurbishment of the Co-op too), but losing M & S has been a major blow to Honiton. And who is to blame? Who settles the rent? Tony Smith Honiton


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