UCL has chosen the Carpenters Estate in Newham, a council housing estate adjacent to the Olympic park, home to 318 households who are now set to lose their homes and community, as the site for its proposed Stratford campus. Many have already been forced out by Newham Council over the last decade. UCL’s process thus far has included little to no satisfactory consultation with residents and the wider UCL community, including students, academics and alumni.
UCL’s students’ union has initiated a ‘public campaign to fight in solidarity with the residents against UCL’s current plans and to ensure that their demands are met.’ Displacement, evictions and gentrification are not consistent with UCL's role, values and history as a university and should not be part of the construction of a new UCL campus, whether on the Carpenters Estate or elsewhere.
I therefore support the call of the Carpenters Estate residents to:
1.) Remain in their homes and community
2.) Withdraw all council plans for a Stratford campus while displacement and eviction of residents remain at their core.
I further demand that UCL adopt a policy to reject any development plans that cause displacement of residents and dissolution of communities, to prevent such occurrences now and in the future.
Should UCL continue with the proposal for a Stratford campus, this should be on the basis of community-led regeneration, with no displacement of existing residents, and including the upgrade of existing buildings.