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City of London Chamber Calls for office space for SMEs and improved Transport links

The City of London Chamber submitted its response to the City Plan 2040 consultation. In the submission, the Chamber highlighted the positive aspects of the proposed City Plan 2040 produced by the City of London Corporation drives all future planning proposals.  

The City Plan aims include the provision of more affordable housing within the Square Mile, allowing visitor economy workers to be close to their workplaces. Protecting the City's heritage is crucial for making the Square Mile a Destination City, given its blend of contemporary and historic buildings. The plan also emphasises embedding 5G and future broadband connections in the City's infrastructure to maintain London’s status as a premier global business hub and committing to Net Zero through renewable energy and climate resilience measures to address flooding and heatwaves amid severe weather fluctuations. 

While the City of London Chamber welcomed the recommendations of the City Plan 2040, it felt that two areas were not sufficiently explored: the offices policy and the transport policy. The Chamber emphasised the importance of business incubation centres for sustainable business growth, recommending that the City Plan include support for developing such centres. This aligns with the Corporation’s commitment to supporting SMEs and ensuring the City remains a global centre for innovative business growth. 

Transport links to South East London are another area the Chamber would like to see addressed in the City Plan 2040. To bring more tourists and leisure visitors to the area and support the night-time economy, improved transport links to southeast London are essential. Currently, this area suffers from poor transport services, with limited Underground access, persistent issues with the overground rail network, and a reliance on bus services. The Chamber proposes that planning for bus and taxi lanes between the City and South East London be included in the document, enabling long-term planning in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). 

The Chamber also advocates for extending the Bakerloo Line to Hayes, which would have significant implications for transport infrastructure planning between Westminster and the City. Improved connections between South East London and the City will enable commuters and key workers to easily access the City of London. Consequently, any planning development considered by the Planning Authority must ensure the bus and taxi lane infrastructure is adequate for such traffic flow. 

The City of London Chamber of Commerce supports the City Plan. The Chamber believes that once the two outstanding issues it has identified—business incubation space for SMEs and transport infrastructure towards southeast London—are addressed, the spatial strategy will help the City boost its competitiveness and maintain its status as a global business centre. 

Read the full submission here.

Read press release here.

Written by Vittoria Zerbini, Media Assistant