Just Space is an informal alliance of community groups, campaigns and concerned independent organisation and was formed in 2006 to act as a voice for Londoners at grass-roots level during the formulation of London’s major planning strategy.
The planning system has a direct impact on local communities but the planning process is technical, detailed and often daunting for the majority of people even though the issues themselves are readily understood. The aim of the Just Space network is to improve public participation in planning to ensure that policy is fairer towards communities in a system dominated by the interests of developers. Just Space works by supporting its member groups and spreading information further afield.
Groups support and learn from each other, collaborate and coordinate in making representations to planning authorities, share research and experience through workshops and publications.
The Just Space Network brings together a wide range of groups, some with a London-wide remit such as the London Tenants Federation, the London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies and Friends of the Earth, others locally based community groups such as Latin Elephant and Ward’s Corner Community Coalition.
The Network also has links with some of the Universities in London (e.g. UCL and King’s College) whose staff and students provide research that the network presents alongside their own grass roots evidence at London Plan hearings or in other contexts.
As a result of this engagement, our members have come to understand how political these technical, spatial planning documents are, and how important for many of the key issues they are focused on, such as health inequalities, targets for affordable housing, progress on environmental issues and pitches for gypsies and travellers.
Just Space Network is developing further work with communities, including producing information packs, establishing local planning networks, recording the experience of ordinary community members’ attempts to influence planning policy and a seminar series on alternative plans. Members of the Network will continue to monitor, expose and campaign around contradictions in the London Plan, Borough plans and the new Neighbourhood Plans, especially where they fail to address key issues impacting on the majority of Londoners.
In a nutshell: Just Space justspace.org.uk is a network of local and london-wide metropolitan groups campaigning on planning issues – housing, transport, services, environment, rights of minorities but especially of working class and low-income groups. Activists and groups support each other in influencing formal plans and policies at scales ranging from metropolitan, through municipal to local.
Members is a list of member organisations, with links