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.”
"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."
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."