London rent controls:Hackney council trialling scheme to keep artists in E9 with ‘genuinely affordable’ studios

Hackney council’s pledge to protect priced-out artists means new-build office spaces will have to keep rents low for creatives.Young artists and entrepreneurs helped to give Shoreditch and Hoxton buzz but after transforming Hackney, most can no longer afford to live or work there — leaving Hackney Wick as the last refuge of those needing affordable studio space or somewhere to open an independent café. 

To protect the small band of artists still hanging on in E9, Hackney council has ruled that all new-build schemes will have to provide “genuinely affordable” work and studio space, with rents set at less than half the current market rate. 

The council and the London Legacy Development Corporation, which oversees planning across the former London Olympics site and its fringes, have introduced the new system following an outcry over the demolition of Vittoria Wharf, which was home to local creatives and small start-up firms. The council is converting two buildings it owns in the area for small independent and artistic firms to use “at a heavily subsidised rate” if they are displaced by building work.

Living in Hackney: the lowdown

“While we can’t control all the changes happening in Hackney Wick, we’re determined to bridge the gap between an exciting new economy and residents and local businesses at risk of being left out and left behind by redevelopment,” said Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s planning chief. 

“We’re determined to protect the makers that make this corner of our borough unique and inspiring.”The Vittoria Wharf factory building was the base for more than 100 creatives, including Gavin Turk, one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists, and small start-up firms in studios and live-work spaces.

Just under £700,000: a two-bedroom flat at Bagel Factory, a warehouse-style development

It was condemned in order to make way for a new bridge over the River Lee Navigation linking Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Hackney Wick.According to Rightmove, two thirds of the homes for sale within a quarter-mile radius of Hackney Wick station are new build.

The most expensive is a two-bedroom flat at Bagel Factory, a warehouse-style development, priced at just under £700,000.The most affordable is a one-bedroom flat in the same development, listed for £457,500.

Thanks to Homes and Property for the post:

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