Askew Road decline produces opportunity?

Askew Road loses another business as the recession continues to bite.

Local business groups and traders are reported as blaming a variey of factors for the road being turned into a “Ghost Town” with empty units well in to double figures. Maureen Lee, chair of the road’s Business Watch, told the Fulham Chronicle she blames Westfield. “It was meant to help the area but since it opened, the place has become a ghost town. It’s heartbreaking. It seems there is a new shop closing once a week. I have worked and socialised in the area since the 1970s and I have never known things so bad.”

Others blame the parking enforcement cameras installed a few years ago, and many fear the opening of a new Sainsbury nearby, due before Easter.

However, a number of the units closed – such as Planet Pizza and a tapas bar are unlikely to have been forced out of business solely by substitution eating at Westfield, and the picture is probably more complex than the locals believe. Askew Road is in a transition, and opportunities exist to repurpose vacant property – such as the two closed pubs – into productive assets.

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