Yesterday we wrote about the the proposed new legislation that will remove the need for planning permission to change commercial spaces into residential ones. Our strongest argument against the changes is our concern that it’ll damage nascent growth in the tech and independent economies. This isn’t just going to affect techies, but anyone who’s based in East London trying to grow their company or residents who will no doubt face massive rental increases as the area becomes a playground of luxury apartments. Business, creativity and tech are leading the Flat White Economy; a community of young startups in tech and creative industries who are beating the recession.
Numerous reports support this argument, GLA Intelligence released London’s Digital Economy, which offers some compelling evidence projecting that the business service output in London will rise by 1.9% in 2013.
A Tale of Tech City: The Future of Inner East London’s Digital Economy, from Demos found that in the Shoreditch area alone, 3200 firms were employing 48000 workers, fifteen for each firm on average. This is of course far more than the government realised and is a very solid argument for keeping planning rights as they are, unless we want to add another 48000 to the unemployed statistics…
Now, cast your eyes over McKinsey’s report East London: World-Class Centre for Digital Enterprise, which clearly argues there’s a heavy economic rationale for supporting the development of the technology enterprise cluster in East London.
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Most importantly, the deadline for the petitions is today, please print, sign and scan this letter and send to: andrew.sissons@
Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
Secretary of State
Department of Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State
Changes in Permitted Development Rights – office use to residential use
My company would like to write in support of Hackney Council exemption bid for the Changes in Permitted Development Rights – commercial to residential use
I strongly believe that this legislation will have a major impact on Hackney’s business community and the local economy – sitting as it does right on the City of London’s fringe. Many of our business locations would be adversely affected by this policy as the area is coveted as a residential location. This could put our business at risk and may potentially lead to forced relocation and loss of jobs for local people in an area where unemployment is already high.
We also believe that it is important to keep a proportion of the local building stock as a business district to ensure a balanced and mixed community; something that the Department of communities and Local Government actively promotes.
We strongly urge you to agree a full exemption for Hackney to ensure that the area remains a thriving business location making an important contribution to the economic prosperity of the Country.