UCL unveils �1billion plan to Stratford’s Carpenters Estate residents

Controversial plans for a Stratford university site were finally unveiled to residents of Carpenters Estate last week.

At a public meeting on the estate on September 24, University College London (UCL) vice provost Rex Knight gave a presentation outlining plans for a �1billion mixed-use development.

A total of 32 per cent of the site will be used for research facilities, 12 per cent will be teaching and learning space, 14 per cent for support such as offices and catering, 21 per cent for UCL accommodation and 21 per cent will be left over for non-UCL use including residential properties.

The proposals are due to go before Newham Council’s cabinet on October 25 while campaign group Carpenters Against Regeneration (CARP) are still opposed to the plans.

CARP has accused UCL of only including ‘token housing’ in the plan, displacing their community, with any promised jobs not accessible to local people unless they are in menial roles.

Joe Alexander, vice chairman of CARP, said: “Why not use some of the �1billion to set up a partnership with our local universities like UEL to upgrade some of our existing facilities?

“They seem as if they want to tell the world that UCL’s idea of Olympic legacy is opportunistic land-grabbing by the wealthy at the expense of poor East End communities.”

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UCL said they would continue to work with Carpenters Estate residents, businesses and other key stakeholders in Stratford on the design, they have sent outline proposals via a mail drop, and they hosted an exhibition of plans at the Old Town Hall on September 24.

On the subject of local employment, the University of London collegiate said an independent analysis by Oxford Economics put job creation in Newham from the UCL scheme at around 3,300 as well as 1,100 jobs created by construction work but plans and discussions are still ongoing with the Council at this stage.

A spokesperson for UCL said: “We have always been clear that our involvement in the project depends on Newham’s longstanding commitment to re-house the residents affected within the Borough as set out in the Resident’s Charter.

“Under the Council’s Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan, the Carpenters Estate has been earmarked for development since 2010, so the decision to redevelop the site in question was taken long before UCL became involved.”

The full plan and more can be found at www.newham.gov.uk/Regen/GreaterCarpentersNeighbourhoodResidentNewsletter.