We recently got planning persmission to change the upper floor of our small commerial unit into a residential unit that we hold on a 125 year lease. We got in contact with the freeholder to request permission to change the use and they came back with a requested premium of £20k for him to give consent.
We felt that was very expensive and chats with other people felt likewise, however he is not willing to change that amount. There does not seem to be any arbitration for commercial negotiations in this case and appears that if we do not pay his asking premium we cannot use the space as residential?
Does anyone know any next steps that we should consider? It says consent should not be "unreasonably held" but while the freeholder has been reasonably quick to respond (via fax and letter only) we do think the price is fair. however i also do not really have any guidance what is the premium for and how they work out the value. On top of this we probably have many thousands of legal bills etc. However the freeholder appears to have all the cards and while residential there is more ways to get addressed (leasehold tribinal) there appears nothing for commercial.
Any ideas what we can do next would be gratefully received.