Objective 9 Maintain and where possible increase employment opportunities in the area
9.1.1 Based on average figures from the 2011 census for the Dalgarno and St Helens wards, 35% of people in the StQW neighbourhood were at that time in full time employment. The wards are ranked 18th and 14th across the borough, in terms of employment levels. Of the economically active, a further 14.25% were self-employed and 6.5% were unemployed. As explained in the introduction of the plan, ward figures are not fully representative of the StQW area. Within the boundary of the StQW neighbourhood area, employment levels are likely to be higher and unemployment lower.
9.1.2 17.3 per cent of residents of St Helens wards were self employed in 2011. This is higher than the borough and London averages of 15.4 per cent and 11.7 per cent respectively. This supports the StQW view that employment activity and ‘enterprise’ in this part of North Kensington include many professionals now operating from home. Policies on spatial planning and ‘zoning’ designed to protect B1 office space in Latimer Road need to be reconsidered in responding to the very the different ways in which people are now ‘at work’.
9.1.3 Local residents, through the StQW survey and at public meetings, support the vision of a neighbourhood that retains employment and economic activity, rather than a residential dormitory area. Hence the policies in this Draft Plan aim to retain and if possible improve on employment levels within the neighbourhood.
9.1.4 Jobs in the area (other than in the case of the self-employed) are located mainly in Latimer Road and in the neighbourhood’s shopping parades.
9.1.5 In relation to Latimer Road, the policies proposed under Objective 8 are designed to increase numbers of employees based in Units 1-14, through redevelopment and/or conversion of these to more intensive office use and a continued reduction on warehouse use. Conversion/redevelopment of only a handful of these 14 premises would more than offset any loss of employment in upper floors of B1 buildings, resulting from StQW Draft Policies 8s and 8b. (The StQW Basic Conditions Statement includes an estimate of employee numbers based on upper floors of the office buildings at the southern end of Latimer Road, based on information from building owners. The total figure is 100 employees).
EMPLOYMENT: DRAFT POLICY StQW 9
9a) in the context of mixed use policies for Latimer Road as set out in StQW Policy 8a-8d, to encourage uses which will increase employee numbers on site (as opposed to warehousing and storage) within the full range of A, B and D class uses.
Reasoned justification: while there are limits to the extent to which any part of a development plan can influence the number of employees working within an area, this policy is designed to steer development control decisions towards building uses which increase actual jobs on site, thereby bringing greater vitality to the area.
9b) through increased flexibility on permitted use classes under StQW Policy 7, to reduce the number of vacant shop units within the two neighbourhood shopping parades (North Pole Road and St Helens Gardens) thereby creating new employment opportunities.
Reasoned justification: complements StQW Policy 7a in the section of this plan on Shopping