Archive for October, 2019

Volunteer opportunities 2019/20

October 22, 2019

As in previous years, Just Space will be working with UCL students, principally from the School of Planning, who wish to work with community and activist groups as extra-curricular activity – i.e. outside the formal scope of their taught programmes. Just Space is a network of London-wide and local activist and community groups which support each other in dealing with the planning system, housing, environment and related matters at various geographic scales.

Interested students (undergraduate, masters or doctoral) are invited to attend one of the 3 following briefing sessions to hear more about what could be on offer and to tell us about their particular interests in doing this sort of work. One daytime meeting and two early evening meetings have been scheduled to try and fit people’s academic, employment, domestic and other commitments. If you would like to join in but cannot attend at any of these times, please email Michael Edwards
Venues listed at    [ now deleted ]

In preparation, we urge you to read the 4 pages of the Protocol in which, over the years, we have tried to distill advice on how to make the most of these collaborations and avoid the pitfalls.  You might also enjoy a report we did last year on the collaborations so far.  And of course you’ll find a lot more material at

Topics and localities where opportunities exist (as at 16/11/19)

London Plan transcriptions

In the coming weeks it would be very helpful to have transcriptions of certain key sessions in the recent LondonPlan EiP – sessions of special interest to community groups. There are audio recordings of all sessions + video of a few.  Richard Lee is coordinating this activity:
Software to convert audio to rough text may help generate first draft. There are many versions, some free,

Suggest you start by reviewing relevant session on the JS web page.

Housing: targets Matter 10

Housing: affordability Matter 24

Housing: other topics Matters 11, 36 and others

Housing Density: Matter 39

Equality, Matter 2

Regeneration Matter 15 and estate renewal Matter 26

Opportunity Areas Matter 14

Green/blue infrastructure Matters 64 and 66

Bio-diversity Matter 66

Social Infrastructure (many short sessions) 51, 52, 54, 56

Heritage 45, 49

and you’ll find it helpful to have a copy of the draft London Plan, the latest version of which show alterations made before / during / since the Examination in Public: Draft New London Plan – Consolidated Suggested Changes version July 2019

Barking Riverside

Through the year we shall be working to support community development group Thames Ward Community Project which works in the biggest ‘Opportunity Area’ where a large ex-industrial space is being developed, mainly for housing, by a joint GLA/developer company Barking Riverside Ltd and with a number of long-established council housing estates and industrial zones also within the ward. We are asked to help (a) in deciphering planning etc documents in plain language (b) supporting local working groups on many topics including green and blue spaces (c) helping formulate a “charter” to which citizens, developers and public authorities would be asked to sign up, committing themselves to transparent and democratic processes. Marian Larragy will help support students working here.

Hackney Central

Local resident groups are engaging with Hackney Council about a large development proposed on the site of an existing big Tesco and its car park. So far their consideration has focused on the proposed housing (tenure and mix) but we have been asked to help generate evidence on the employment and economic impacts of this scheme and of the wider hackney Central regeneration of which this development forms part – affecting established shopping streets, enterprises in railway arches, a bus garage and other uses. Michael Edwards will support students working on this. NB don’t opt for this if you are in MSc UDCP at it may be a focus of module coursework next term.

Old Oak Park Royal

Just Space works with the Grand Union Alliance, a network of community organisations which it helped pull together to span an enormous ‘Opportunity Area’ on the junction of 3 boroughs in west London. The area is governed by a Mayor (of London) Development Corporation OPDC and is experiencing major challenges in agreeing and implementing its plans. It depends on property development profits to pay for social housing, new site infrastructure and social infrastructure and the claims of existing land owners for profit from their holdings. The largest private land owner has pulled out and proposes its own project. Students working on this project will be supported by Robin Brown.

Hayes town centre / neighbourhood planning

Also in West London (just north of Heathrow), this town/area is a relatively poor and deindustrialised part of the borough of Hillingdon, which also has a rich northern part (whose MP is Boris Johnson). Local community groups are active in seeking to influence developments proposed in the area and may undertake a Neighbourhood Plan. Students working on this project will be supported by Robin Brown


London Universities – Communities Knowledge Exchange

October 22, 2019

Following on from a session at the Tate Exchange in July 2018, Sarah Bell at the UCL Engineering Exchange successfully applied for funding of £30,000, half of which is earmarked for Just Space to convene joint meetings between community groups and University participants.  This 12 month programme of work (which started in January 2019) considers how we scale up the support on offer from Universities to community groups, and the structures and mechanisms that are needed for effective partnership working London wide.  Just Space has engaged Sona Mahtani to co-ordinate and may engage others.  A free conference will take place on 23 October: details and booking at  Document prepared for the event (36 pages, PDF download)