Published On: 17th April 2024Categories: Gentrification, Housing

Saskia O’Hara shares legal routes available to housing campaigners in South Thamesmead.

PILC’s Saskia O’Hara joined residents, tenants and campaigners at the Lesnes estate in South Thamesmead to host a workshop about how to use the law as a tool in their campaign. 

PILC is representing a resident on the estate as part of our gentrification project. Saskia was invited down to speak to residents about the process of planning and the law, explain the legal challenges that are available, and share lessons learned from other estates and campaigns. 

Campaigners known as ‘LesRes’ (Lesnes Resistance) gathered to protest the Peabody’s plans that, if actioned, could see hundreds of people forced out of their homes. 

“With a new fast connection into central London, the area is ripe for profiteers, and around 600 homes on this mid-60s built estate are facing demolition” says Real Media.

The residents on the estate are demanding that the Director of Peabody, John Lewis, meets with residents to discuss: 

  • Filling the empty homes, and refurbishing them instead of demolishing them
  • Protecting social housing, protecting their environment and stopping the social cleansing of the community. 

PILC will continue to work with residents by using the law as a tool to help them achieve the aims of their campaign. 

To support the campaign, sign their petition here. Follow the LesRes campaign on twitter to keep up to date and amplify their demands. 


So often, developers treat people’s homes as disposable in the pursuit of profit.

But PILC supports tenants and homeowners in estates like Lesnes who are up against major developers.

We work with local residents and campaigns to shift the power away from privatisation, and put it back in the hands of the communities.

If you’d like to talk to us about a case as part of our gentrification project, drop Saskis an email at saskia.ohara@pilc.org.uk