Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP (@EricPickles): Exempt Hackney from New Planning Laws #SaveTechCity
Proposed changes to planning rules could see the end to London's Tech City.
Over recent years small start-up creative and technology enterprises have been attracted to East London and the area around Old Street roundabout. Affordable rents and office space has led to a thriving tech and creative scene – often referred to as Tech City.
But this is under threat.
Proposed new planning regulations are being brought in across the UK. The rules are intended to make it easier for commercial space to be converted into residential space. However the unintended consequences of this legislation in Hackney will see small and growing businesses squeezed out of the area to make way for developers to build luxury apartments.
It could mean the end of Tech City.
The tech and creative community around Hackney is providing jobs and growth to London and the UK, but without affordable office space businesses will be forced out of the area. This comes just as many companies are reaching the point where they are looking to move out of co-working spaces and into their own offices. Affordable office space is essential to keep the community.
This petition is calling on Hackney to be exempt from these new planning rules. An exemption for Hackney would continue to ensure that the tech and creative start-ups who have made East London their home will be able to continue contribute to the growth of the area and to the UK.
Sign this petition and help #SaveTechCity
see here for further info: https://www.gov.uk/submitting-petitions-and-campaigns-to-dclg-ministers
As businesses and organisations who have worked closely with tech and creative startups in East London, we are writing to you to express our support for Hackney Council's exemption bid for the Changes in Permitted Development Rights for commercial to residential use.
The startups, businesses, and organisations on this letter have seen fellow members of the community around East London, evolve their businesses idea, raise finance, develop their product, and build up a talented team. The success of the tech and creative community around Hackney in recent years has meant that many of these companies are reaching the point where they are looking to move out of co-working spaces and into their own offices.
We believe that if the changes to permitted development rights were implemented in Hackney, this could adversely affect startups in the area, including those who have signed this letter. The area is becoming an increasingly desirable location for residential properties, in part due to the thriving creative community startups have contributed to. A number of commercial buildings have already been converted to residential properties, but if this is made possible without each conversion being considered on its merits this will drive commercial rents up and smaller businesses out of the area.
Startups are providing jobs and growth to London and Hackney, but without affordable office space they may be driven further away from the free advice sessions, mentorship, and networking opportunities that the community provides as they will be forced to find more affordable locations further afield.
An exemption for Hackney would continue to ensure that the tech and creative startups who have made East London their home will be able to continue to contribute to the growth of the area and to the UK.