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More companies are looking for rural offices as the economy continues to turn around according to a property consultants.
Work spaces near agricultural land made up just under half of about 58,000sqft of office space let between January and April this year say Kings Hill-based chartered surveyors Smiths Gore.
Recent deals for its rural clients include leasing a 2,323sqft barn in East Malling to landscape design consultancy Murdoch Wickham.
It let a 940sqft space at Lakeview Stables on the St Clere Estate near Kemsing, Sevenoaks, to Communication Design Partnership, a media company specialising in construction.
Smiths Gore chartered surveyor Lucy Winzer said: “During the recession many companies inevitably downsized and took on smaller premises. It is now clear that with the economy returning to growth, and companies recruiting, many are now looking for larger premises.
“Since the start of the year we have seen a steady increase in demand for office suites between 800ft2 and 2,000ft2.
“The cost of car parking, urban congestion, and the conversion of small offices back to residential in our town centres, is also driving companies to consider relocating to more rural premises...” - Smiths Gore's Lucy Winzer
“Rural locations, especially those served by a good broadband service, close to local shops and with good road connections, are proving very popular.
“The cost of car parking, urban congestion, and the conversion of small offices back to residential in our town centres, is also driving companies to consider relocating to more rural premises.”
As the market grows, the company believes many farmers and estate owners will consider converting existing premises to office accommodation.
Smiths Gore owner Michael Wooldridge said: “With demand high, and with it now being easier to secure planning approval to convert redundant agricultural buildings into commercial uses, property owners are now be well placed to explore this option as a means of making buildings more economically viable.”
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