Supporting access to justice in the class-based transformation of urban space

For a number of years we have been active in supporting local residents and grassroots campaigns in challenging injustice stemming from gentrification. This includes opposing the loss of secure council tenancies, challenging undemocratic exercises in estate redevelopment (including inadequate consultations and resident ballots), contesting the loss of community assets such as greenspace and demanding that the Greater London Authority create a Resident Empowerment Fund to level the playing field between residents, local authorities and private developers.

As well as bringing legal challenges based on public and planning law, we have supported residents by offering:

  • legal education on key terminology and the redevelopment process
  • media assistance
  • support with crowdfunding

Our contribution aims to support local residents and campaigns to shift the power balance which is so weighted in the favour of privatisation, infill and demolition. As community lawyers, we seek to be on the ground with campaigners, offering legal services as one tool or tactic amongst others in a campaign.

We have previously supported campaigns in the Elephant and Castle regeneration in Southwark, the Carpenters Estate in Newham, Juniper Crescent in Camden and the Save Brownswell Green in Barnet. We have called for a London-wide Resident Empowerment Fund. We are currently supporting residents of the Central Hill estate in Lambeth and a number of other areas.

Credit: Focus E15 Housing Campaign

Our gentrification project seeks to expand on this existing work.

We can assist residents and tenants with public, planning and environmental issues including:

  • Resident estate ballots
  • Consultations around redevelopment of housing/land.
  • Challenging planning decisions
  • Demolition of structurally sound buildings
  • Loss of green space on estates due to infill
  • Loss of community assets such as libraries and community halls.

Please note we do are currently unable to assist those facing Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Want to get in touch about gentrification issues you are facing? Please contact Alexandra Goldenberg Alexandra.Goldenberg@pilc.org.uk and Saskia O’Hara saskia.ohara@pilc.org.uk