Lendlease is the global development mega-corporation building both the planned Wrexham Mega-Prison and the yuppy skyscraper development on the site of the demolished Heygate Estate in Elephant & Castle. At the Elephant, it has an “Experience Suite” showroom to tempt yuppy buyers. This has been targeted a few times now. Back in June, people in masks crashed the opening party and threw rubble everywhere; during the recent week of action against the mega-prison, LendLease shut down its sales office pre-emptively.

Yesterday (26 November) LendLease tried to hold another marketing event at the showroom. This was shut down easily by a few angry people from the neighbourhood. After some yuppies were blocked from entering, the police turned up. Perhaps thinking that visible confrontation would not be good for PR and sales, LendLease decided to keep the doors locked and cancel the whole event. Report below reposted from Peoples Republic of Southwark website.

Residents disrupt launch of ‘West Grove’

LendLease’s ‘launch night’ of new homes in the West Grove development was most certainly not a success with people who live in Southwark right now (alleged beneficiaries of this and all ‘epic regenerations’) who staged a small but highly effective protest outside the marketing suite in One the Elephant last night.

The launch was everything but a public event. Local residents were stopped from going in as there were two or three security people outside and at least two on the other side of the locked door.

Small group of residents and members of Fight for Aylesbury and Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth unfurled the banners and gave out flyers about the ongoing scandal of the Elephant & Castle regeneration to passers-by, chanting ‘Homes for the rich, prisons for the poor!’, ‘More council homes, no social cleansing!’.

The story is painfully familiar to many by now: years of deliberate running-down of the estate and the people who made it their home, actual (not repairing things) and abstract (introduction of and endless repetition of spin about crime, kitchensinks, unemployability etc); land sold to developers for fraction of its value; local communities destroyed and residents turfed out to wherever and beyond so the developer can get on with making lots of profit for themselves; the lies about local residents ‘benefiting’ from this destruction; the ‘non-viability’ of social housing; the ‘viability’ of prisons and so on.

Many we spoke to were genuinely appalled by what has been happening.

At some point, a young couple who were keen to buy a new home at Elephant & Castle, got a bit upset about residents preventing them from going in. We gave them the flyer and spoke to them about why people were so angry. The couple moved away a little bit, then eventually left. Someone had called the police who weren’t allowed to go in either.

Here’s another reason why this travesty should not be allowed to continue happening


Elephants will not forget. Ever.

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