Hackney Council secures protection for commercial space
Vital employment space in Hackney has been protected after the Council secured an exemption from new Government rules that would have allowed offices to be turned into homes without planning permission.
The Council was concerned that much of its most important stock of office space in its key employment areas such as Shoreditch, Dalston and Hackney Central would be under threat of conversion to housing, forcing businesses out, leading to unemployment and damage to the local economy.
It was also likely that any homes created as a result would have been high-value private properties that would have done nothing to address the housing need of Hackney’s local population.
Hackney Council presented a strong bid to the Government to exempt these areas from the proposed change, and led a campaign with local MPs and huge support from local businesses to try to exempt Hackney from the new rules proposed by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
We are pleased to have been granted these exemptions and will continue to protect space for local employment The original plans could have seriously damaged Hackney’s fast-growing local economy, particularly putting at risk small independent start-up businesses who need affordable office space, and all for the creation of high-value private flats that local people would have been unable to afford.
Hackney is one of only 17 local authorities to have secured an exemption. The exemption applies to a number of areas of key commercial activity in the borough including areas in and around Shoreditch and Hoxton, Dalston and Hackney Central.
These areas play host to a wide range of businesses from digital and creative industries in Tech City to more established office-based businesses, fashion, retail and hospitality.