Chamber responds to City of London’s 2040 plans for the Square Mile

London, 4 June 2024 – The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has today responded to the City of London Corporation’s City Plan 2040 consultation calling for the inclusion of measures to assist SMEs looking to expand in the City and to support an increase in transport links between South East London and the Square Mile.

The plan outlines the development strategy for the Square Mile, establishing the City Corporation’s priorities for development up to 2040. It includes policies that will guide future decisions on planning applications.

LCCI’s City of London Chamber of Commerce (CLCC), which represents LCCI’s members operating in the City of London, analysed the plan and was pleased to see detailed proposals to deliver affordable housing within the restricted confines of the Square Mile whilst protecting the heritage of the City, driving tourism and trade alike. The CLCC also welcome the City of London’s commitment to achieving 5G expansion and implementing strong net zero objectives, both of which are comprehensively detailed in the City Plan 2040.

Despite these positive advancements, the CLCC’s response highlighted a noticeable oversight in the current Plan regarding the preservation of essential incubation space for SMEs. Business incubation centres have demonstrated their critical role in fostering sustainable business growth and ensuring a healthy business environment by facilitating new entrants to the market. These newcomers offer valuable contrast to the large, established firms that currently dominate the Square Mile. The response recommends that consideration is included in the City Plan 2040 to support the development of business incubation centres in order for the City to uphold its status as a hub of innovation.

In addition to this, the CLCC’s response noted that transport links from South East London to the City should be included as a key focus in the City Plan. A significant portion of service sector and hospitality workers who work in the Square Mile reside in or beyond South East London. As such, the response suggests that planning for bus and taxi lanes between the City and South East London be included in the Plan, to ensure swift travel into and out of the City for workers.

Commenting on the Consultation, Alderman Prem Goyal OBE, Chair of LCCI’s City of London Chamber of Commerce, said:

“The Square Mile is the heart of London, and has played a pivotal role in shaping the city into the global metropolis it has become. As such, careful analysis and examination of the City of London Corporation’s future plans for the City is crucial in order to ensure that London as a whole can benefit from the incredible talent, tourism and trade it attracts.

“We are pleased to see strong measures around net zero, 5G expansion and provision of affordable housing included in the Plan and support the Corporation’s focus in these areas. The businesses I represent, many of whom are SMEs, will also be pleased to see continued progress towards establishing the Square Mile as a ‘Destination City’ for tourists.

“We now hope to see the City of London adopt further measures in their 2040 Plan to reflect the need for incubation space for SMEs in the City and improved transport links between the City and South East London. We look forward to continuing to support the Corporation as we work together to build a resilient future focussed Square Mile.”