The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is to consult on a new strategy that hopes to ensure Tech City can continue to flourish and thrive.
Johnson has been a huge advocate of the city’s growing East London tech cluster and will be working on a new document that will examine how the planning system can maximise growth in the area and ensure that there is a continuing supply of affordable workspace.
The capital is currently home to 34,4000 digital technology businesses and the sector employs over 150,000 people according to the Mayor’s office.
Area of opportunity
Johnson has already designated the area around Old Street station, known by many as the Silicon Roundabout, as an opportunity area, declaring that it has the capacity for thousands of new jobs and homes.
The Mayor is calling for views on the planning document, which aims to bring a balance to the amount of residential and commercial space in the area.
The boom of Tech City has led to an ongoing battle between affordable space for startups and higher-end commercial and residential space
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The fight for Tech City
In September, Eric Pickles announced he would give greater powers to developers to change commercial properties, such as office space into residential without the Council or businesses being consulted.
Earlier in the year, Former Tech City Deputy CEO Benjamin Southworth and other members of London’s tech ecosystem also rallied against a new proposed development at the Bishopsgate Goodsyard.
“The tech scene in the area around Old Street is a significant driver of London’s economic prosperity with companies setting up in their droves to be a part of the tremendous mix of cost effective office space and the vibrant multicultural social scene,” explained Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning.
“These detailed planning polices will help to ensure that the sector can continue to flourish in its traditional heartland for many years to come.”
The City Fringe Opportunity Area Planning Framework consultation can be accessed here. The closure date for responses is February 13, 2014.