Although London is in dire need of new homes, small businesses also need space to thrive. Khan says the new measures will help protect and expand office space for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs in London.
New City Hall figures show that since 2013, over 1.47 million square metres of office space could have already been converted into residential units in London using PD rights. This means space for nearly 94,000 jobs in London could be lost through this process.
“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,” said Khan. “Space which is genuinely surplus to commercial needs should be identified authoritatively and its release carefully managed so that it does not undermine local business.
“As Mayor, I will be focusing on building new affordable homes on publicly and privately owned brownfield land, while changing the London Plan in order to protect viable business space and to create new start-up spaces in housing developments.”
The new measures the Mayor plans to put in place include: amending the London Plan so that there is stronger protection for small businesses and start-up workspace; delivering new spaces for small businesses, the creative industries, artists and the fashion industry within new residential and mixed-use developments; promoting schemes to provide linked affordable housing and business space in new housing developments; and working with the Government on changes to permitted development rights
“There clearly needs to be more control over where office space can be converted to residential use,” Khan added. “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, start-ups and entrepreneurs. This is just one of the many pro-business measures I’ll be setting out in the coming months.”