Call on Network Rail to reconsider rent hikes
Hackney Council is calling on Network Rail to reconsider severe rent hikes which will force many independent traders out of business.
Last year the public body embarked on plans to significantly increase its commercial rents across the borough. The Council understands that some businesses have been told at short notice that their rent will increase by more than 200%, with no offer of negotiation. Some have already closed as a result.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, and the Council’s Cabinet Member Planning, Business and Investment, Guy Nicholson, last year wrote to Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy raising their concerns. They requested a meeting with him to discuss a more thoughtful and collaborative approach to setting new rents. A copy of the letter is available here.
For many of the independent traders which have made the borough’s railway arches the vibrant and desirable venues they are today, this is simply unaffordable and will force them to close.
“We understand the pressures on Network Rail to generate more revenue from its land. However, its current broad-brush approach which treats Shoreditch the same as Hackney Central undermines the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Hackney’s economy which makes it such a popular borough to do businesses.
“A more strategic and collaborative approach could strike a better balance between the long-term needs of Network Rail, its tenants and Hackney’s economy, and we urge Network Rail to sit down with us to discuss how we could make this happen.
The Council is trying to assess the impact of the Network Rail rent increases on businesses in Hackney. Business which have already been affected, or are concerned they may be in the future, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.