Communities, business and academics join forces to tackle London’s Workspace Crisis

By George Turner.

Just Space, a coalition of community groups, academics and campaigners have launched a new handbook aimed at helping communities fighting the loss of work space in London.

“London For All” contains contributions from small business groups and campaigners who have successfully fought regeneration projects and sought to build inclusive mixed communities that provide spaces for people to live and work. Continue reading

Workspace Handbook now Online!

Download London for all! A handbook for community and small business groups fighting to retain workspace for London’s diverse economies for free here:

Low-resolution pdf

High-resolution pdf

Watch this space for a report of the workspace handbook launch on Monday 21 September 6.30pm at New Economics Foundation, with the Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, the London branch of the Federation of Small Businesses and the New Economics Foundation, amongst others. In the meantime, check #londonworkspace for tweets.


Launch! A handbook for groups fighting to retain workspace in London

for JS website Drawing: Lucinda Rogers

Please join us on Monday 21st September 6.30-8.30pm at the New Economics Foundation for the launch of London for all! A handbook for community and small business groups fighting to retain workspace for London’s diverse economies. We will hear from some of the groups featured in the handbook, and hear responses from the Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, the London branch of the Federation of Small Businesses and the New Economics Foundation. Copies of the handbook will be available, as well as refreshments provided by Truman’s Beer, a member of the East End Trades Guild.
Continue reading

Just Space consulted on new housing document

The GLA is preparing to issue a consultation draft of Supplementary Planning Guidance on Housing. Just Space was invited to a meeting to comment on what the planners are preparing.

Just Space is in difficulty commenting because an SPG is supposed to elaborate policies already established in the London Plan, not make or modify policy. Since many of the housing policies contained in the London Plan have been fiercely and consistently opposed by Just Space and its member organisations, commenting is almost impossible. One member describes it as ‘embroidering the emperor’s new clothes’ and there is mention of deckchairs on the titanic. All we can do is to welcome the positive elements and seek to mitigate the worst impacts of the Mayor’s policies.

Just Space looks forward to commenting in detail on the Draft SPG, publication of which is expected on 11 May, just after the General Election (when the next round of draft Alterations to the London Plan are also expected).

Meanwhile, here are the Just Space comments submitted today.

Just Space comment on City Fringe OAPF

In response to the Mayor’s consultation on a draft Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the City Fringe, Just Space submitted a short comment, supporting the Mayor’s evident attempt to limit the damage to local economic activities from the voracious demands of residential development, but highly critical of the procedures being followed in the planning process. The full statement is here

Staying Put: An Anti-Gentrification Handbook for Council Estates in London

Download ‘Staying Put’ low resolution here.

Download ‘Staying Put’ high resolution here.

This handbook explains why the regeneration of council estates often results in established communities being broken up and moved away, and housing becoming more expensive. It is designed to help local communities learn about gentrification and the alternatives they can fight for. Through the experiences of council tenants, leaseholders and the wider community in London, it contains ideas, stories, tools and resources.

Staying Put is free to use by any individuals, community or amenity groups and campaigns, TRAs, students, researchers and all. We have included two download links above to enable the booklet to be circulated as far and wide as possible. There is a high resolution PDF also if anyone is able to print further copies for community based campaigns.

We are currently working out how we will distribute the printed copies around London. Do get in touch if you are from a council estate or community campaign and would like some copies. We printed 1000 but this will not go round everyone so we ask people to be strategic. Thanks

1: What’s going on?
    • Council estates under threat
    • What is ‘gentrification’?
    • When is ‘regeneration’ gentrification?
    • The ‘consultation’ con
    • The ‘affordable housing’ con
    • What is displacement?

2: What can you do about it?
    • Finding out what’s going on!
    • Public resources and Freedom of Information
    • More than just you! Getting together
    • Tenants and Residents Associations
    • Organising a local group
    • Telling your story
    • The consultation game
    • A word about the law

3: Alternatives to fight for
    • Community planning
    • Neighbourhood Planning
    • Lifetime Neighbourhoods
    • Community Land Trusts
    • Co-operative housing
    • Community Housing Associations
    • Refurbishment
    • Community-led Self Build

It is a collaboration between four groups and individuals:

London Tenants Federation
Federation of organisations of tenants of social housing providers at borough level and at London level. LTF provides information and research on London’s housing issues through accessible policy briefings and newsletters. It facilitates networking and information exchange at local and regional events, linking tenants and other community and voluntary groups.

Loretta Lees
Professor Loretta Lees is a London-based urban geographer. She is an international expert on gentrification and the policies and practices associated with it. She is working to persuade policy makers and communities that there are alternatives.

Just Space
Just Space is a London wide network of voluntary and community groups operating at the regional, borough and neighbourhood levels. It came together to influence the strategic plan for Greater London – the London Plan – and counter the domination of the planning process by developers and public bodies, the latter often heavily influenced by development interests.

Southwark Notes Archive Group
Local people opposing and writing about the regeneration &
gentrification of the North Southwark area that has happened over the last 20 years.