Reporting and supporting the London Plan EiP

January 12, 2019

The examination in public (EiP) of the draft new London Plan opens on Tuesday 15th and will sit on at least 30 days between now and May.  UCL people have played a variety of supporting roles with the dozens of community groups who have made representations about the plan and it’s a great tribute that the independent Panel of Inspectors has invited Just Space* and its member-groups to participate in the discussions on almost all of the 30 days.

UCL support is continuing with students and staff assisting some contributors and planning to report in blog format on the daily proceedings. [The EiP process is in some ways very democratic and transparent but only for those who can sit day after day in City Hall. Journalists hardly ever attend and (hitherto) there have been no broadcasts or official reporting. So this project is a major innovation.]

Thanks to support from the UCL Bartlett School of Planning, there will also be a number of briefing and de-briefing sessions hosted at UCL for community organisations, UCL students & staff and anyone else who want to follow in this way. Put these dates in your diary:  1600-1900h on Wednesdays
30 January Harrie Massey theatre, 25 Gordon St WC1H 0QB
20 February 22 Gordon Street room G12 WC1H 0QB
13 March 22 Gordon Street room G12 WC1H 0QB
10 April 22 Gordon Street room G12 WC1H 0QB
5 June after the hearings end Roberts Building opposite Waterstones, Corner of Gower St and Torrington Place,  Lecture Theatre 106. Drinks.

The Just Space web site has rich resources on the EiP including a new page combining the day-by-day programme of topics, the Panel’s questions for debate, the Just Space responses and reports on recent sessions.

The EiP itself has a main web page with links to the Plan, supporting evidence, all the consultation and subsequent responses and other documentation.

  • Just Space is a collaboration network of community organisations which came into existence a decade ago, mainly to facilitate and support public participation in the planning and policy processes of the new London Government system.

Winter 2018/9 update

November 4, 2018
Stop press 5 Nov: presentations for the Technical Seminars tomorrow and wednesday have just been released here. Here you can also watch the webcsts of the seminars on both days.
[4 Nov 2018] is a cooperation network  of community organisations in London on planning issues with which UCL have collaborated for some years. More about Just Space in earlier posts: scroll down the home page here.

This post covers 3 separate matters. Please reply to Michael Edwards if you are interested in any one or more, and do share with other people who are likely to be interested.

              1. local/neighbourhood support for community groups planning in West London

              2. support for community in poor area of Barking (East London) targeted for huge housing development (Thames Ward)

              3. briefing/reporting events on London Plan EiP starting 26 Nov and 5 December, and then more starting January.

1. local/neighbourhood support for community groups engaging with the OPDC local plan in West London or at Hayes.

This would be under the guidance of community planner Robin Brown who is a core member of Just Space. Suitable for people who want to get their teeth into local-scale planning; Let me know soon if you might be interested and I’ll link you with Robin. Ideal for a team of 2 or 3 at OPDC and perhaps a similar team at Hayes.

2. support for community in poor area of Barking (East London) targeted for huge housing development (Thames Ward)

We are asked by a community development team to provide some support to communities whose rather desolate riverside neighbourhood is going to be the site of a massive (Opportunity Area) housing scheme. If we can assemble a group of (perhaps 6) students I’d like to travel there with you and discover what they want/need —after Reading Week— and have already got 3 interested people.


3. briefing/reporting events on London Plan EiP starting 26 Nov and 5 December, and then more starting January.

As you know, we have planned to run, with Just Space, a series of briefing/de-briefing sessions about the London Plan EiP, aimed at 2 audiences

  • BSP staff & students wanting to keep abreast of events
  • Just Space activists (seasoned ones and new ones) preparing their positions and sharing experiences as the hearings unfold.

Two sessions before Christmas and then probably 5 more in 2019, to happen in the weeks when the EiP is NOT in session (it goes in cycles of 2 weeks of sessions, one without).

26 November Monday 1700h onwards Roberts Building G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT

1700h-1800 background briefing for beginners / people new to the process

then coffee/tea

1800h onwards topic-based presentations and discussion: Spatial Development issues including IIA and the (non-existent) spatial alternatives are suggested topics. Includes high streets, centres, Opportunity Areas etc.

5 December Wednesday 1500h onwards 25 Gordon Street room E28 Harrie Massey LT

1500-1600 background briefing for beginners / people new to the process (essentially a repeat of 26 Nov briefing – same stuff)

possibly coffee/tea

1600 – 1800 topic-based presentations and discussions, mainly housing and related topics suggested.

(The topic suggestions have been guided by matters likely to come up in the first block of EiP sessions.)

We’d be really glad of student help with these first 2 events – on the day, but also a few people to help us work out, between now and then, the scope for alliances on key issues.

Then from January onwards we need to have observers at all the EiP sessions, taking notes and helping to prepare blogs on what’s happening. This will be great and could involve a large number of students committing to report on just one day (or could be more).  Let me  know what you could do. m.edwards [at]

BSP student opportunities 2018/9

October 9, 2018

A number of second and third year undergraduates in the Bartlett School  of Planning came to a briefing on Thursday 11th October. Slide show: just space for UCL students 2018. We had valuable contributions from Adil Saif who completed UDPM this year and had done work with Just Space, and from Ilinca Diaconescu who sent a video (link within the slide show). Further such meetings will be scheduled for other student groups. Meanwhile do review these slides and get in touch if you wish.

A detailed report on the collaboration so far is at at

Activity in 2018/19

September 25, 2018

[25 September 2018] Just Space is just working out its plans for what will be a very busy winter, preparing for and then appearing in 37 of the 45 discussions scheduled in the public hearings on the new London Plan. There will be many opportunities for student participation in helping groups prepare submissions to recording (or even live-blogging) the hearings in the spring.

More news early in October.

UCL & Just Space at Tate Exchange

July 18, 2018

Thursday 19 July 2018 at Tate Modern, part of @Tate Exchange.  Just Space is organising a seminar to discuss the role of practitioners (academics, students, architects, planners, lawyers and others) in meeting the support needs of grassroots community groups and their networks at a London wide level.  Places are limited.  If you are an engaged practitioner and would like to contribute/attend, please contact the Just Space Co-ordinator. A briefing note on UCL collaborations with JustSpace is at

Teach-out 7 March

March 4, 2018

Caring for the City: how a university learns from working with urban activists

Added Monday 5th: here is a fuller programme of the week: DXgmhtBX0AAmcWl.jpg

Added Wednesday 7th: the event happened, thanks to a brilliant gathering of students, staff and community people. There is a slide show at and a report will follow. Read the rest of this entry »

UCL Engineering Exchange activity

February 6, 2018

Follow this link to see what the Engineering Exchange is up to with community projects

Supporting consultation on London Plan

January 21, 2018

Later: the Just Space response to the draft London Plan – embodying many UCL student inputs – is now finished 2 March.  Download

UCL students and researchers are active in supporting the process this winter in which Just Space is supporting its member-groups in responding to the consultations on the draft new London Plan.  At a major all-day conference at City Hall on 20th January 2018, opened by Deputy Mayor Jules Pipe and 9 members of the GLA planning team, 8 students played important roles like taking notes in workshops, while research and development work by others (students and staff) was presented or embodied in documents. Reports will appear over the coming days.  One journalist from Novaramedia tweeted…


Social Impact Assessment

December 19, 2017
On Thursday 14 December 2017, the UCL DPU and Just Space brought together community groups from across London to discuss how social impact assessment could be developed as a tool to protect community assets and social infrastructure, promote alternative development proposals and value social sustainability within London Planning.

The culmination of a term-long action research project by MSc Urban Development Planning students, conducted in collaboration with Just Space, the event involved the presentation of four inclusive social impact assessment tools, each grounded in the current struggles of a community group or collective.

Read more on the DPU web site here

Understanding local economies

November 4, 2017

An issue of growing concern for London communities is the rent and displacement pressure on jobs caused by rampant land price escalation for speculative housing development. Industrial estates, workshops, shops and high street premises of all kinds are being converted to housing at speed. Businesses and non-profit activities face dwindling space availability, rising rents and often such short insecure leases that they can’t invest in equipment confidently.  It’s become clear to Just Space that neither the GLA nor the London Boroughs have a real grasp of the detailed economic workings of the city outside of the centre and a few key sectors.  UCL has been supporting Just Space in its work on this and two new bodies of research have now appeared:

An entire class of students in the School of Planning Masters module benvgPD3 From Strategic Vision to Spatial Plan undertook meticulous studies of economic activities in large blocks of north London, between Dagenham in the East, through Ilford and Romford to Southall in the west.  The project was taught by Elena Besussi, Pablo Sendra and Michael North. The student reports are now available on Google Drive (copyright of the authors) at

In parallel, and with some connection, Jessica Ferm, Michael Edwards and Ed Jones did a small research project, surveying, evaluating and making recommendations about the methodologies used in local economic studies by community groups, local business groups, boroughs and GLA. This was supported by a grant from UCL’s “London 2034” fund administered by the Vice Provost for London. The summary press release from the project and the full report are both now available. Revealing local economies in London: methodological challenges, future directions, Download eprint