Council and shop owners discuss how to breathe new life into Putney High Street  

Published: Monday, July 10, 2023

  • Wandsworth Council works with shop owners with the aim of reducing the number of empty shops
  • Meeting held to explore ways to bring retail units back in use, including discussions around setting affordable rents
  • Agreement to continue talking to meet shared goal of creating a more vibrant High Street

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Wandsworth has met with landlords of vacant shops in Putney High Street to discuss what more can be done to bring them back into use.

A meeting chaired by the council's Deputy Leader Kemi Akinola explored concerns that the High Street has too many empty shop units.

The council says landlords need to strike a balance between setting affordable rents and ensuring a reasonable return on their investment. The council is not able to intervene on rents which are a matter between landlord and tenant.

Landlords say they are being flexible with rents and asked the council to make it easier for tenants to take up space more quickly through its planning and licencing powers.

The meeting, also attended by the Putney Business Improvement District, discussed current national economic conditions, rental rates, and opportunities for redevelopment and improvement.

Cllr Kemi Akinola said: “Everyone wants Putney High Street to retain its vitality. We value the commitment shown by the landlords towards Putney's future and recognise the important role they play in shaping the town centre's character.

"This meeting was a crucial step in fostering collaboration, understanding the challenges being faced, and finding sustainable solutions that encourage long-term tenancies, support local entrepreneurs and benefit the entire community. 

“In the meantime we would urge Putney residents to support local business and use the town centre shops.”