Construction site

Photo: Shutterstock

What price progress? Quite a bit apparently in the case of one logistics business keen to move to a new London home. The Hub was shocked to hear that plans to relocate – a few miles as the crow flies, although within the same borough – have likely been killed stone dead as the cost of doing so looks to be prohibitive due to a new levy.

The company in question had identified two acres of land Southall way and was keen to build a new facility - the sort of activity that the UK’s flat-lined economy is crying out for at the moment.

However the imposition of the recently introduced, and national, Community Infrastructure Levy, which in London at least sees councils levying a fee on behalf of the Mayor that in turn can then be spent on infrastructure projects such as Crossrail – means the move is now highly unlikely to take place.

With the levy attached, the project was on course to come in at around £4.5m, with the tax making up more than a quarter of this eye-watering, headline amount. That’s a lot of freight.

A meeting simply to discuss the project with the authority’s planning team before Christmas was a £2k undertaking, and the planning application alone was on course to leave a £100,000 hole in the company’s corporate wallet.

A case then of tax them and they won’t come.