Procurement · 3 June 2016

Sadiq Khan announces working space protection for London’s small firms

sadiq khan city hall
Sadiq Khan will promote schemes that provide linked affordable housing and working spaces

The new London mayor has reiterated a promise to protect working spaces for the capital’s small business owners and startups.

In an official announcement, Khan made several amendments to his “London Plan”, putting in place stronger protections for small business and startup working spaces.

Khan’s pledge comes following the publication of new data by City Hall that revealed the extent to which uncontrolled office-to-residential housing developments has left a serious lack of available and affordable working space for small business owners in London.

Since 2013, more than 1.47m square meters of office space in the city could have been turned into residential units under the government’s “permitted development rights”, resulting in working space for almost 94,000 jobs for Londoners may have been lost.

Khan said: “These new figures lay bare the impact that the government’s misguided policies are having on space for business in London.  Of course we need new homes, but this does not need to be at the expense of the space we need for the businesses that provide our jobs and drive our prosperity.”

Efforts will be stepped up to promote schemes that provide linked affordable housing and business spaces in recently-built inner-city developments. Khan will also work to deliver new mixed-use housing development projects for small business owners in the creative industries, including artists and fashion designers.

“Over the next four years, I will be working to build the thousands of affordable houses we need in London at the same time as increasing the good quality space available for small business,” startups and entrepreneurs,” Khan added.  “This is just one of the many pro-business measures I’ll be setting out in the coming months.”

The announcement comes just two weeks after the mayor stepped up a plan to redevelop scores of Transport for London-owned sites for housing.

Khan explained that by developing affordable housing projects on existing brownfield sites, small business premises could be better protected.creat

He went on to say: “There clearly needs to be more control over where office space can be converted to residential use. I will be focusing on building new affordable homes on brownfield land, while changing the London Plan in order to protect viable business space.”

Get up to speed on Sadiq Khan’s plan to help London’s micro and small business owners.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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