Conservatives estimate that 222 garages are permanently unused in Waltham Forest

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More than 200 empty garages in Waltham Forest should be converted into affordable work spaces, according to the Conservatives.

London Assembly Tories say the disused spaces would be ideal for start-up businesses and cheap to convert.

Assembly member Andrew Boff says start-ups and small businesses face high rent which inhibits their growth.

“We have identified 222 garages lying empty across Waltham Forest,” he said.

“The reality is that there are many more. Housing associations should invest some cash in doing them up, and if they’re not suitable for housing, offer them for rent to start-ups and micro-businesses to help them grow.”

He said businesses such as cycle mechanics, carpenters and product designers would be suited well to using garage-sized spaces.

At an estimated cost of £26,000 to convert a garage into a business unit the Conservatives say housing associations could make initial investments back in eight years charging £60 a week in rent.

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8:18am Tue 21 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on.

Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'.

Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow.
I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on. Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'. Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow. Villagecranberry

9:20am Tue 21 Jan 14

glacpo says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on.

Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'.

Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow.
Perhaps a good idea to read the report before criticising? www.glaconservatives
.co.uk/lusu
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on. Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'. Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow.[/p][/quote]Perhaps a good idea to read the report before criticising? www.glaconservatives .co.uk/lusu glacpo

9:22am Tue 21 Jan 14

glacpo says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on.

Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'.

Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow.
Perhaps worth reading the report?
www.glaconservatives
.co.uk/glac
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: I sometimes wonder what planet these politicians are on. Firstly how do they know garages are empty, do they have X-ray vision? You cannot assume that a garage is empty by the appearance of it. When the Police did a mass swoop of garages in the 90's during the IRA terror campaigns, it was reported that they found an array of items stored away, old collectors cars, dungeon type set ups, huge amounts of stolen goods, drugs and even garages set up as ' love nests'. Secondly, where has he got the figure of 26k from? You could build a garage from scratch for that with all the modern insulation materials. Lastly, there are enough empty business units available for rent without going down this road. The implications of having businesses operating in former garages will open a can of worms anyhow.[/p][/quote]Perhaps worth reading the report? www.glaconservatives .co.uk/glac glacpo

9:29am Tue 21 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside.
Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside. Villagecranberry

10:21am Tue 21 Jan 14

glacpo says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside.
Again, as it emphasises in the report, affordable housing is priority for housing associations. This idea is specifically for garages that are not suitable for to be turned into housing.

The 26K figure is from the housing associations themselves - the report spoke to 10 of them as well as numerous start-ups and SMEs.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside.[/p][/quote]Again, as it emphasises in the report, affordable housing is priority for housing associations. This idea is specifically for garages that are not suitable for to be turned into housing. The 26K figure is from the housing associations themselves - the report spoke to 10 of them as well as numerous start-ups and SMEs. glacpo

10:25am Tue 21 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

glacpo wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside.
Again, as it emphasises in the report, affordable housing is priority for housing associations. This idea is specifically for garages that are not suitable for to be turned into housing.

The 26K figure is from the housing associations themselves - the report spoke to 10 of them as well as numerous start-ups and SMEs.
The location of many garages in my opinion do not lend themselves to such activity and will encourage anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance.
Good luck if you get it passed and up and running but it seems like a recipient for disaster in my view.
[quote][p][bold]glacpo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Yes, I have read the report and it still makes nonsense whatsoever for tithe reasons I have given. I would have thought that the Tories would support spending money on affordable housing than garages as people out in the capital are looking for places to reside.[/p][/quote]Again, as it emphasises in the report, affordable housing is priority for housing associations. This idea is specifically for garages that are not suitable for to be turned into housing. The 26K figure is from the housing associations themselves - the report spoke to 10 of them as well as numerous start-ups and SMEs.[/p][/quote]The location of many garages in my opinion do not lend themselves to such activity and will encourage anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance. Good luck if you get it passed and up and running but it seems like a recipient for disaster in my view. Villagecranberry

11:44am Tue 21 Jan 14

Walthamster says...

Workplaces are closing down all around us in Waltham Forest. The council does little or nothing to help small businesses or start-ups -- it couldn't do less if it was a mission to wipe out employment in this borough.

So I'm in favour of garages being converted for work use, as long as they're in an appropriate place and properly regulated. Can't see how it would really cost £26,000, though.
Workplaces are closing down all around us in Waltham Forest. The council does little or nothing to help small businesses or start-ups -- it couldn't do less if it was a mission to wipe out employment in this borough. So I'm in favour of garages being converted for work use, as long as they're in an appropriate place and properly regulated. Can't see how it would really cost £26,000, though. Walthamster

12:04pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Helen, Walthamstow says...

I too think it's an idea worth exploring. Waltham Forest is lamentably short of units for start-up businesses.
I too think it's an idea worth exploring. Waltham Forest is lamentably short of units for start-up businesses. Helen, Walthamstow

12:38pm Tue 21 Jan 14

mdj says...

Better still would be to allow limited upstairs additions, to create live/work units. The division of whole zones into working or residential areas is obsolete, is a major contributor to needless congestion of commuter routes, and turns neighbourhoods into dormitories that are deserts during the day.
Activities should be zoned in planning terms according to the level of nuisance they cause others, not the actual activity itself. Not many people are boiling glue, frying fish or breaking cars.
Another problem we face is the rating system: as long as councils have no direct gain from supporting their local businesses, they will happily watch while all potential work space gets converted into housing, whose Council tax they can directly pocket.
And the level of the rates themselves are enough to strangle any aspiring business at birth, being tantamount to an advance tax on money you may never earn. You get nothing visible back for the rates you pay.

Perhaps this proposal might have a better chance if the Tories said it was a bad idea? This council has a record of sitting on other peoples' bright ideas for years until they can bring them out of cold storage and claim them as their own. It's all part of the pack instinct that party politics helps to breed.
Better still would be to allow limited upstairs additions, to create live/work units. The division of whole zones into working or residential areas is obsolete, is a major contributor to needless congestion of commuter routes, and turns neighbourhoods into dormitories that are deserts during the day. Activities should be zoned in planning terms according to the level of nuisance they cause others, not the actual activity itself. Not many people are boiling glue, frying fish or breaking cars. Another problem we face is the rating system: as long as councils have no direct gain from supporting their local businesses, they will happily watch while all potential work space gets converted into housing, whose Council tax they can directly pocket. And the level of the rates themselves are enough to strangle any aspiring business at birth, being tantamount to an advance tax on money you may never earn. You get nothing visible back for the rates you pay. Perhaps this proposal might have a better chance if the Tories said it was a bad idea? This council has a record of sitting on other peoples' bright ideas for years until they can bring them out of cold storage and claim them as their own. It's all part of the pack instinct that party politics helps to breed. mdj

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