The Fitzrovia Partnership’s proposal to create a business improvement district (BID) was today given the go ahead. The controversial plans were approved in a postal ballot of 229 businesses with a rateable value of £100,000 and over.

A total of 93 votes were cast with 72 in favour of the proposal which will come into effect in August this year and run for five years. The BID will raise through a levy on business rates around £1,000,000 every year to market Fitzrovia as a destination of choice and provide improvements to the trading environment.

All businesses in selected streets with a rateable value of £100,000 and over will be required to contribute 1 percent of their rateable value towards the BID each year.

The BID will be a public-private arrangement between Camden Council and The Fitzrovia Partnership whose board members include representatives from Arup, City of London, Derwent London, The Doctors Laboratory and Make.

Residents had criticised Camden Council for not carrying out a public consultation ahead of the ballot and questioned the suitability of the neighbourhood for a BID. In a letter to Sarah Hayward the leader of Camden Council they had asked the council to exercise its power to veto the BID.

The BID proposal was spearheaded by the land owner and developer Derwent London who have a number of developments in the pipeline. Next year they will take back control of the building on Charlotte Street currently occupied by the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi before part-demolishing and redeveloping the site with permission granted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Derwent also have plans to completely demolish the Margaret Pyke Centre also in Charlotte Street.