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Student’s Union UCL stands in solidarity with the Stop the Elephant campaign and occupation at London College of Communication.

University of the Arts London, which LCC is a part of, is currently working in partnership with Delancey, a tax-avoiding offshore development company, on their project to redevelop Elephant & Castle, replacing the shopping centre with a new campus for LCC and the old LCC campus with a mixed-use development of shops, housing and offices.

Although Southwark Council requires that all housing developments comprise of a minimum of 35% affordable housing, half of which (17.5%) are to be social rents, only 3% of the planned housing in Delancey’s plan will be at ‘social rent equivalent’. The destruction of the shopping centre will further compromise the livelihoods of local business owners, many of them BME, who have worked in the community for decades.

This is social cleansing and UAL are complacent. Directly befitting from the development, the university will be given permission to build a new LCC building while raising no objections to the consequences of Delancey’s plans, the consistent lack of transparency shutting out of residents and traders throughout this process.

This is far from the first plan there’s been to demolish the elephant shopping centre or the first to pretend to be about progress and improving the lives of people in Southwark, but let’s make sure it’s the last.

We know that in the past UCL has attempted similar projects, when in 2012 they tried to tear down the Carpenters Estate, a council housing estate home to hundreds, in order to build the Stratford campus. These plans, however, were stopped because students taking action and occupying, in the same way UAL students are taking action now.

When know the Elephant & Castle community and students can win their demands and we will support every step of the way.

Join the protest January 30, 6pm,160 Tooley Street