Today I gave up on the flat purchase.
The agents called for an update and I told them I couldn't accept the lease in it's current form patched up with insurance policies to fill the gaps. When I came to sell it wouldn't be a good proposition. I also wasn't happy with the lack of response from the landlord and not sure I'd want to have to deal with him again.
The seller came back and knocked off a decent amount to get the lease rewritten but couldn't commit to the landlord being keen to do his bit. So I chose to not to go with it.
So after 2 attempts totalling a year, I'm now back to square 1 over a thousand pound wasted. Roll on 2005!!
At the end of episodes of Inspector Gadget you'd always get some useful advice so that the program could be deemed to be educational. If this posting was an episode of that show then I'd now be telling you to stay away from flats above commercial properties as the leases are often shoddily written because only a single legal party is responsible for their creation.