News from Jenny Jones (past staff): Call for Network Rail to protect Herne Hill's small businesses
Jenny Jones AM has called on Network Rail and the Dulwich Estate to stop driving small independent businesses out of Herne Hill, after being shown around the area by the Chair of the Herne Hill Forum to meet local business owners and workers. The Dulwich Estate recently increased rents on shops in the area. It has also left a local pub empty for several years, and is planning to convert a popular music venue on the first floor to a hotel. Network Rail have already been evicting traders from retail units, and offering them the right to return at much higher rents.
Local businesses are also worried that Network Rail might apply the same treatment to a row of railway arch business units nearby, home to a maker space that received funding from the Mayor of London as well as a microbrewery, welders, car garages and other assorted businesses.
Network Rail have let these business premises rot. Now that the local community has turned the area around Network Rail want to cash in, driving out many of the businesses that have made Herne Hill thrive.
This is happening all over London, and it makes me furious. I'm going to keep making a fuss with Network Rail until they start acting like a responsible landlord, and work with the Herne Hill Forum to develop their fantastic ideas for their high streets and light industrial sites.
Jenny spoke to a number of businesses in the area, including a kebab shop, greengrocer, the South London Makerspace and workers in the Canopy microbrewery: