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Friends of enterprise

08th April 2011

By Rob Cowan

The government's announcement of a new programme of enterprise zones reminds me of Matthew Carmona's comments (in his 2009 article 'The Isle of Dogs: four development waves, five planning models, twelve plans, thirty-five years, and a renaissance... of sorts', Progress in Planning 71, Elsevier, London) on the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone, home to Canary Wharf.

'The scheme was to benefit from £470 million capital allowances against tax, a rates holiday to 1992, 20 acres of land transfer from the London Docklands Development Corporation, and massive infrastructure pump priming,' Carmona writes. 'The 55 acres in the enterprise zone required no planning permission at all or public inquiry, or indeed any public discussions. According to MP Nigel Spearing [writing in 1988], the whole scheme was approved with less scrutiny than "a planning application for an illuminated sign on a fish and chip shop in the East India Dock Road".'

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