Leases for the Brixton Arches

Meeting: 
MQT on 2016-10-19
Session date: 
October 19, 2016
Reference: 
2016/3998
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Network Rail plans to refurbish the Brixton Arches which would result in eviction of over 30 traders (tenants). The eviction, as campaigners suggest, would mean end of livelihoods and loss of local independent family businesses. I have experienced a similar situation with TfL owned units at Alperton Station in Brent. Are you and TfL able to take an appropriate strategic and holistic approach to better treat longstanding tenants so that they do not lose out and small independent traders (often family run businesses employing local staff) are able to maintain their business and contribute to the local economy? If there is no level playing field and they end up having to compete with franchises they and the local community will be the losers in the end.

Answer

Answer for Leases for the Brixton Arches

Answer for Leases for the Brixton Arches

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am a pro-business Mayor, which means supporting businesses of all sizes. Therefore, across its retail estate and arches, TfL operates to a principle that supports small businesses, which are critical to providing customers with the products and services they want.

 

I am aware that Lambeth Council granted Network Rail planning permission to refurbish the arches in Brixton earlier this year. Network Rail has sole responsibility for managing the tenants at Brixton, however, I understand that Network Rail has committed to ensure small independent businesses go back into these units once the refurbishment is complete.

 

At Alperton, TfL needed to remove tenants to investigate long-term water ingress and to carry out refurbishment works.  TfL is now marketing the units, and is talking both to previous tenants and to other independent businesses about occupying the units from early next year.

 

TfL has a strong track record of supporting independent businesses. Over 90 per cent of TfL’s estate is occupied by small businesses, and TfL works closely with tenants and trade bodies, such as the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, to retain and improve the prospects for those businesses.

 

TfL also supports start-ups, and has seen businesses such as Press London, and Supernatural transition from pop-up stores to fixed retail units on its estate and elsewhere.