Statements on the Network Rail development of Brixton and Herne Hill archways are flying in today. The latest one comes from the Brixton Business Improvement District, which counts several Atlantic Road and archway businesses among its members. The BID want to “strenuously urge Network Rail to reconsider their position”. They believe that a right of first refusal needs to be given to the businesses and that Network Rail need to offer a better package of compensation. Here is the statement:
The board members of the Brixton BID are very concerned about the fate of businesses that are reported to imminently be evicted from Network Rail arches on Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road.
We share the common view that, as more national brands come into the town centre, there must always be a place for the independents. In this respect, Network Rail – as a major landowner in the town centre – has a key role to play.
If no right of first refusal is given to these businesses on the new tenancies, we will be faced with the very real risk of losing a number of Brixton’s long-serving and diverse businesses. Alongside all the new investment that is coming to the town centre a main priority of the BID is to ensure that we maintain the diversity which is at the heart of Brixton’s unique and successful culture.
The package of compensation that Network Rail are reported to have offered is not enough to compensate for the short notice that has been given for them to relocate. The timescale for eviction is also unrealistic, especially if businesses plan to stay in Brixton, as we hope they will. On behalf of businesses we have arranged to meet with Network Rail to strenuously urge them to reconsider their position.