KERB food market at Gherkin
There was much media coverage and a public campaign around the closure of the popular KERB street food market at the bottom of 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin). This arose because of a complaint from the City of London Highways Department about market traders mounting the public footway to get access to the market area which led to the Planning Department establishing that the market did not have the correct permissions to operate. Our Planning Department wrote a letter to the Landlords which unfortunately ultimately led to the Landlords’ Agents deciding to cease allowing operation the market until the correct permissions are obtained.
I met with representatives from KERB to understand their difficulties in having their operation suspended. I then met with Officers from our Planning Department and they have agreed that they would review the way they engage with stakeholders in matters of this kind so that their actions will not be perceived as being so heavy handed in the future. I also spoke to the Landlords’ Agents to encourage them to bring forward a planning application seeking permission for the operation of the market. And I understand that Planning Officers have met with the Landlords’ Agents and representatives from KERB to explain their concerns and discuss how a planning application might seek to address them.
I will be keeping an eye on the situation so that a decision is properly and quickly made on the application when it is submitted.
[Update permission has been granted with some positive supporting comments submitted by myself and I am delighted that the market is operating again].
Vacant property in Aldgate at the site of the proposed International House, Mitre Square development
The vacant International House at Mitre Square (pictured above) is scheduled for demolition starting tomorrow (6 June). I believe this will help relieve anti social behaviour around the site as mentioned in my election campaign. I will now concentrate efforts in this area on the other site I identified in my campaign, 80 Fenchurch Street (actually just outside our ward on the border with Tower ward), which I believe should be redeveloped or put back into use as soon as possible.
A new public space is being created on the space between Sir John Cass Primary School and St Botolph without Aldgate Church by removing the Aldgate gyratory and introducing two way traffic on Aldgate High Street and St Botolph Street. An early stage concept of the plan is pictured above but the scheme has been developed somewhat from that. Particularly, I have consulted with local residents and conveyed their views to the planners that the potential for crime and anti social behaviour should be designed out and connectivity and way finding should be improved. The updated scheme will go out to full public consultation from 27 June until 8 August.
The City should not be unaffordable for independent retailers (such as sandwich bars) and other small businesses. They add to the economic vitality of the area and provide choice for consumers. If elected, Dhruv will campaign for a Central London banding of Small Business Rate Relief to support them.
Vacant property on the Aldgate fringe, proposed site of the 80 Fenchurch Street development
Vacant property in Aldgate, proposed site of the International House, Mitre Square development
There is an excess of vacant property in Aldgate and its surrounding areas. This vacant property is unsightly, encourages anti social behaviour and makes no contribution to the economy.
If elected, Dhruv would use his experience in the property industry to work with agents and landowners to make sure that this vacant property is developed as quickly as possible or brought back into use thereby increasing the vibrancy of the ward.
Dhruv will liaise with developers and contractors to ensure that, when construction work does take place, the works do not cause excessive noise or disruption to workers and residents.