Posted on 3rd December 2015
This article was taken from Coast to Capital Newsletter
In an open letter to Anna Soubry MP, Minister for Small Businesses, Coast to Capital Chief Executive Ron Crank, has underlined the damage being done to the viability of some local businesses because of permitted developments, particularly in the Crawley and Shoreham area and has urged policy reform.
The Permitted Development (PD) rights are part of a government policy which enables change of use of certain buildings without usual planning permission, such as business premises into residential housing.
Coast to Capital Chief Executive Ron Crank said: “The loss of crucial employment space in Crawley is so rapid and at such a scale that business growth is being prevented. 500,000sq ft, of employment space the equivalent to nine football pitches will have disappeared by the end of 2015.
“That means hundreds of job opportunities lost. The loss of employment space is equivalent to nearly 2,000 office jobs or over 500 manufacturing jobs. There is also a growing threat to the town centre economy. Over 60 per cent of employment land is being lost in Crawley town centre preventing new jobs and business investment.”
In the letter Mr Crank also wrote about the threat to Manor Royal, one of the largest business districts in the South East. Around 30 companies have been evicted from their offices to make way for residential via PDR.
He stressed that policy reform is essential to head off the threat to Crawley, Manor Royal Business District and other areas in the Coast to Capital region.
Mr Crank added: “This is a major issue across the Coast to Capital region and, I would imagine across the South East. The Government needs to reconsider this policy particularly in the south of the UK.”
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"As MP for Mid Sussex I believe passionately in the importance of a vibrant local business community in order to create and sustain fantastic opportunities that enable people to meet their responsibilities, prosper and fulfil their potential. I am committed to collaborating with BHBPA and others to be an effective collective voice for Burgess Hill."