QConsult to research multiple use-classes in local businesses

Roman Road Trust and Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum have enlisted the help of five students from Queen Mary University of London under the QConsult programme to consult local businesses on possible changes to current use-class restrictions.

The Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum is currently writing a first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan (NPlan) for Bow. This is a major milestone for the Forum. The process to create a Neighbourhood Plan began early in 2016, and since then the Forum has been gathering evidence and engaging with local people to learn what sort of future developments they would like to see in Bow.

One of the emerging plan’s themes is to promote thriving local businesses. One policy idea the Forum wants to test out is allowing businesses to have multiple use-classes. Use-classes are categories assigned to businesses to determine what the business is and how it operates.

Currently, businesses usually have one use-class such as ‘A1: Retail’ or ‘A5: Hot Food Takeaways.’ However, the Forum is exploring the idea that businesses should be able to have more than one use-class. This could provide greater flexibility for businesses, and open up opportunities for diversifying their offers.

Before this can be included in the NPlan, it is important for businesses to be consulted. The QConsult Team will be visiting a range of local businesses in Roman Road East (Bow) and Grove Road (near to Mile End Station) in the upcoming weeks. The aim is to find out if such a change would be welcomed by local businesses.

The current QConsult Team (left to right); Aman, Gabriella, Adriana, Mihir, and Wahida, will be working closely with Roman Road Trust and Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum until December 2019. Local businesses may be visited from mid-November to complete a short survey with the QConsult Team.

QConsult is an award-winning employability programme that places QMUL students into mini consultancy projects in London-based businesses and charities. Previously, Roman Road Trust has taken part in QConsult projects in March 2018 and December 2018.

At the end of the project, the QConsult Team will present their findings as a written report and final presentation to Roman Road Trust and Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum in December 2019.

If you would like more information on the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum visit here.

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