Tuesday01 September 2015

UCL students protest over £1bn expansion plan

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Bartlett professors warn UCL chiefs against “aggressive and unethical” act

UCL students are demonstrating this afternoon as the university’s highest governing body meets to discuss its controversial £1 billion plans for a new campus in Stratford.

The protest, as the UCL Council votes on whether to approve the scheme, is described by organisers as an escalation of opposition to the plan which would see more than 300 households evicted from the Carpenters Estate.

It coincides with the publication of an open letter to Council members signed by 47 members of staff from the cross-disciplinary Urban Laboratory and the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit.

Overview of UCL Stratford

Overview of UCL Stratford

They include Urban Lab director Ben Campkin, Bartlett professors Adrian Forty, Jane Rendell and Iain Borden as well as Michael Edwards, senior lecturer in the economics of planning.

In it, they urge Council members to reconsider the proposals for the 23ha scheme designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and to open the process to debate within UCL.

Stratford City Aerial View

The letter describes the university’s plans as part of an “aggressive and unethical” national phenomenon of dispossessing council tenants and accuses the university of operating in a way that “contradicts its stated values and runs counter to the findings of its own researchers, past and present”.

In a separate statement Campkin said: “There is a long tradition of pioneering progressive urbanism at UCL, with a particular academic and practical focus on social housing, regeneration and community-led planning in London.

“Any UCL development needs to proceed from this wealth of expertise and experience.”



Readers' comments (5)

  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Were this nefarious plan to be implemented, it could only be at the cost of "getting rid" of the poor people who currently live there; which in fact does seem to be the undeclared policy being pursued by that particular local authority.

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  • Stewie

    Yeah I'm sure 300 households are foremost on the minds of the Bartlett. A convenient argument against the move it could be said after all thousands live in Stratford so why the Bartlett are so all of a sudden hung up about what amounts as a small drop in the ocean I can well imagine. A case of we don't want to go there as it’s a working class area and handily for us these people don't want us there and don’t want to move anyway it seems.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    As a member of the working class, I can assure you that's not the reason.

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  • Rumpy Stumpy

    Is Stratford in China? How can they just be evicted?

    The University was perhaps an important part of the legacy plan. Why can't they inclusively masterplan the estate with suitable public planning processes and engaging all stakeholders? If they are doing that already, why should that process be open to a UCL debate? Seems to me that the unhappy UCL campers want a piece of that consultancy or at least some air time.

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  • first, what is 'demonstarting'? Did someone forget to spell check?

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