UCL’s proposal to build a £1bn “university quarter” in Stratford was passed by a Newham council meeting tonight, much to the anger of residents who currently live on the site. The prospect of home demolitions and mass evictions of Carpenters estate residents is now a little bit closer.

Not being able to gain access to the public gallery to observe the meeting themselves, residents of the Carpenters estate held a protest outside the town hall. Their main greivence with the scheme is that they feel they have not been properly consulted or listened to by either UCL or Newham.

Feelings ran high amongst those outside the town hall. “They’re grabbing our land!” one resident shouted. The Carpenters residents’ independent advisor, Tony Bird, in an unusual flurry of indignation, speaking to us advised UCL: “you have to fuck off, or you are going to have a war on your hands.”

Carpenters residents hold up banner outside Newham town hall. Photo: Oscar Webb
Resident, Mary Finch, speaking to group outside town hall. Photo: Oscar Webb

Although Newham has agreed to UCL’s initial plans, the proposals still have a lengthy planning process to go through if they are to be realised. UCL and Newham aim to have a contract ready by the end of 2013, only after that will work begin. Both parties, we are told, will continue consulting residents on the university’s scheme up to that point. But considering UCL and Newham have repeatedly ignored residents’ previous cries of alarm (see CG Welcome Issue 2012), it is unclear how much sway their voices will have in the final outcome.

Full coverage of UCL Newham is available in CG35 (November 2012).

Oscar Webb