On 5 December, Just Space Economy and Planning group held its 3rd discussion within the year-long series aiming to build capacity to engage in planning on economic issues in London (see Statement of Intent here). The focus was ‘Business Involvement in Planning’, with three rich presentations from Sue Terpilowski (Chairman of the London Policy Unit at the Federation of Small Businesses, Managing Director at Image Line and member of the London Enterprise Panel and London Business Network), Elena Besussi (UCL and Camley Street Neighbourhood Forum) and Michael Ball (Waterloo Community Development Group).
Discussions with the FSB focused on particular issues small businesses face in London, their representation in strategic planning processes, how businesses and residential communities can work together on planning and development processes, the need for debate on whether London wanted a micro- and small-business community in central London, and changes in the way we work and their implications for planning. Good links were made between the FSB and Just Space.
Discussions with Camley Street Neighbourhood Forum (download Elena’s presentation here) and Waterloo Community Development Forum focused on the value of industrial land and B and C class office space in central London, how small and ethnic businesses were represented within Business Improvement Districts (see useful information on BIDs here), the critical importance of involving businesses in campaigns such as Kings Cross, Waterloo, Peckham and Elephant and Castle, and the need to interrogate the term, ‘business’ in order for example to enable links to be made between residents and business issues, and to highlight where real estate interests were dominating. More work was needed to explore how Just Space could work with BIDs and other forms of business organisation, building on this initial discussion.
This discussion will feed into Just Space’ work to respond to the current consultation on the ‘Further Alterations to the London Plan’ (see here), as well as leading to further meetings and events, including on affordable workspace and social enterprise.
A detailed note of the meeting can be downloaded here.