industry is disappearing

In the centre of Peckham (town centre use study), along the Old Kent Road and everywhere else in London industrial areas and thousands of jobs are under threat of disappearing. This is worrying!

The following letter by Jenny Jones (Green Party Group, London Assembly) appeared in the 19th February edition of the Independent.

Homes must not come at expense of jobs
I’d welcome the Mayor of London getting stronger compulsory purchase powers to build more homes in London. But this Policy Exchange proposal risks solving the housing crisis by creating a jobs crisis.  (“London Mayor urged to buy empty premises for housing”, 17 February.)

The authors recommend sweeping away more industrial land in London to build homes. But we are already losing industrial land to residential uses at twice the rate the Mayor planned, with half of the lost sites once occupied by flourishing businesses. I’ve talked to businesses that are being driven out of areas such as Charlton, Peckham, Fulham and Hackney Wick. Obviously residential developers make a lot of money from this, but residents can lose out.

London may not be the manufacturing heartland of a century ago, but the “made in London” brand is leading to a renaissance in many sectors. I myself live quite happily next to a light industrial site that offers benefits in cooperation of all kinds. We will always need our scaffold yards, car repair shops and recycling depots. We should value our brewers, welders and carpentry workshops, not sweep them away to create a place where people sleep, but can’t really live.

Here a recently published study of the Old Kent Road prepared by students from the CASS cities, January 2016.