We have consistently opposed attempts to convert local shops and businesses into residential properties. Just last summer we intervened to help stop some of the last industrial workspace in our area on Brading Road/Somers Place being lost to such a development. Sadly the Government has accelerated its plans to prevent local people and councils from having a say on the loss of business space. In March, they announced new powers to convert commercial premises into residential property, removing requirements for consultation with local communities and planning permission from local councils.
These new rights came into force on 1st August, but Lambeth Council is attempting to protect the communitiy’s right to have a say by designating a number of areas across the Borough as zones where these permitted development rights will not apply. This includes the central Brixton “Creative Enterprise Zone” (which extends as far south as Brixton Water Lane) and previously designated “Key Industrial Business Areas” like on Somers Place just off Upper Tulse Hill. However, whilst the KIBA area on the west side of Somers Place is included, the workshops opposite at 53 Brading Road are not (see map above).
A consultation has been launched running until 27th September and if successful these protected zones will be enforced when temporary protections end in the summer of 2022. We urge you to respond to the consultation to ask Lambeth Council to extend these protections to 53 Brading Road to ensure that these workshops will not again be threatened with conversion to sub-standard residential accomodation without consultation across the local community. We will also be urging Lambeth Council to prevent further conversion of shops on our local shopping parades into flats. Please contact Ben if you want to help us protect our local businesses.