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When looking for office space, what lies directly outside the window isn’t usually one of the top priorities. Many offices are inevitably surrounded by other offices or buildings, and what you see when you view it is what you get when you move in.
For many business owners, their staff’s welfare and contentment at work are paramount as happy employees are less likely to leave and more likely to work better and more efficiently.
However, for the owner of Primrose Hill Business Centre at Chalk Farm, Frank Carson, he and his staff have found their working conditions entirely changed through unforeseen circumstances. Mr Carson’s premises overlook sidings owned and operated by London Midland. Occasionally a train came into view for cleaning, Mr Carson alleges, and moved on fairly quickly. Now, faced with complaints and concerns from his staff, who claim that, due to an increase of trains parking for long periods outside the building they are suffering from a deprivation of daylight.
Mr Carson, who has owned the premises for forty years, says that he has approached London Midland in an attempt to improve the situation for his staff, but that there has been no result, leaving him to consider what other options may be open to him.
Tom Lax, of Morgan Pryce, advises, “It is always important for business owners – especially those investing in property long-term – to consider how the immediate surroundings of the building may change in the future – to their benefit or otherwise. Unfortunately, where light is concerned, and the right to it, legal battles can be unpredictable and expensive.” Tom adds, “Of course, a lot of the time, no one can predict what the future might hold.”
In this particular case, the business owner also believes that telephone lines and internet access are being adversely affected, which can of course be crippling for a business’s day-to-day operation. As Mr Carson is the owner of the building, there are knock-on effects on the value of his investment, whether in terms of sale or rental opportunities.
London Midland has said in response, “In 2010 the Department for Transport funded our upgrade of the Camden sidings so that we can stable our trains there during the daytime off-peak hours (8am-3pm, then after 7pm). This is necessary so that we have the trains in the right place to run our peak-time commuter services to and from London.”
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.