Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 31 August 2009

Unhealthy buildings?

It's reported here that a charity is refusing to share a building with certain other businesses.

Apparently Cancer Research UK is refusing to share the £50million Angel Building in Islington with the likes of fast food outlets, tobacco firms or pubs, and the developer, Derwent London, has agreed to enforce the restriction.

Director Paul Williams said:
“Cancer Research UK didn’t want to be associated with certain types of business.”
Mrs Rigby had a quick look around and found this
Angel Building is the re-invention of an early 1980’s commercial property on a prominent but under-used site on the corner of St John Street and Pentonville Road, Islington. Award winning property company Derwent London have pre-let 13,000 sq m as the new headquarters for Cancer Research.
St John Street will see a newly landscaped public realm set around existing mature trees and the introduction of shops and restaurant will bring activity to this important frontage in the heart of Islington. Angel Building is currently under construction and will be completed during 2010.
Mrs R also found a 2007 press release here, but she can't find anything that refers to rules that exclude certain groups of commercial tenants, and Mrs Rigby wonders if such a restriction (which would have to be a restrictive covenant in the lease) is against free competition.

She would be interested to know what MacDonald's thinks about this too, more especially because they are mentioned in the article and their menu includes what they call "healthy options".

Mrs Rigby also wonders if the selection of suitable business tenants would extend to the dictating the menu in the proposed restaurant? Would Cancer Research UK try to insist it is a vegetarian or vegan restaurant? Would they also try to restrict what people can eat and drink in the courtyard area - will they try to ban ham sandwiches?

Mrs Rigby is intrigued by the whole thing and wonders why any lessee thinks it has the right to make these demands.

Cancer Research UK is a charity that does a lot of good, its remit is research. Its website says :-

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading independent organisation dedicated to cancer research.

We support research into all aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4,500 scientists, doctors and nurses.

Maybe their research (which won't be carried out at Angel Building) has shown you can catch cancer from being in the same building as a corporate group that represents somebody, or something, you don't like?

Aside from that though, Mrs R wonders if we are truly reaching the time when the so-called 'good guys' can demand almost anything - and get it?

And if so, is this the world we want to pass onto our children?

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