EVICTED: Some traders based in the Brixton arches on Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road are facing eviction [SOURCE: Brixton Buzz]
TRADERS IN Brixton's railway arches will not being evicted by Network Rail while the area is being redeveloped, contrary to widespread rumours.
This week, Network Rail - who owns the railway arches - wrote to businesses on Atlantic Road, Brixton Station Road and Popes Road to inform them they will have to vacate their patches for several months this summer as part of the renovation work.
The rail authority claims it will provide the traders with "a package of financial and professional support including assistance to find relocation premises" during the renovation.
A Lambeth Council spokesperson told The Voice this afternoon (Feb 5) that reports that there will be "mass evictions" are "not true", claiming that only "16-17 tenants were contacted by Network Rail".
She also pointed out that the evictions are only for a "six month period" - though Network Rail say it will a year to complete.
But the traders are doubtful that they'll get their patches back after the work has finished.
A tenant told the Evening Standard that business owners had not been given any guarantees that they will be able to move back into their premises after the work is complete.
A Network Rail spokesman said: "Plans are being prepared and each of the tenants and leaseholders in these arches is being contacted to discuss the plans and how individual businesses will be affected.
"Tenants will need to vacate the arches later this year and Network Rail is advising them early to allow time to plan for the temporary closure of the arches for the refurbishment works."
He added: "Tenants will be supported by Network Rail with a package of financial and professional support including assistance to find relocation premises."
Affected businesses are being invited to attend a meeting at the south London council's town hall on February 24.
Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Cabinet member for Growth & Jobs, said:
“We want to see the diversity and individuality of Brixton maintained alongside any plans to refurbish the railway arches.
"The plans are ultimately a matter between tenant and landlord; however we are pushing Network Rail to provide a comprehensive support package and will be holding a meeting with the existing business tenants before the end of the month to discuss the issue.”