Lack of commercial London property slows Big Yellow Storage expansion plans

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London space is proving hard to come by for the storage company (Source: Getty)

Big Yellow Group, operator of The Big Yellow Self Storage Company, has said it is finding it difficult to acquire new spaces in London and the South East as developers turn their attention to housing.

The company has recently taken over Lock and Leave sites in Nine Elms and Twickenham, as well as a new facility in Wapping. But it remains concerned that it will not be able to expand as commercial property becomes scarce.

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Executive chairman Nicholas Vetch said: "As our vacant capacity reduces, it increases the imperative to create more. The tight supply of land in our core areas of activity, and a planning regime broadly focussed on housing, remain very significant barriers for our competitors and ourselves."

Despite the challenges, the group's revenue for the year to 31 March 2017 grew to £109.1m, up 8 per cent on last year. Adjusted pre-tax profit was up 11 per cent to £54.6m.

Occupancy also grew, with 188,000 sq ft in use across stores. Vetch said that this put the group on track to break 80 per cent occupancy rate, bringing it closer to the target 85 per cent.

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