Latin Elephant’s response to New Southwark Plan

Latin Elephant Feedback to New Southwark Plan (NSP) Consultation

Latin Elephant advocates for a more inclusive understanding of urban policy in London and as such we promote the contribution that migrant and ethnic communities make to London’s diverse economies and cultures. Latin Elephant’s policy recommendation to the London Plan on the importance of migrant and ethnic economies was acknowledged and adopted in the Further Alterations to the London Plan 2015.

The feedback to NSP includes reasoned justifications for supporting migrant and ethnic retail in Southwark and why we deemed this to be an important component for inclusion in the New Southwark Plan. We also offer recommendations and feedback to specific policies on ‘business, employment and enterprise’ and ‘Town Centres’ by drawing on our recent consultation and work with retailers and community groups in the area. We hope to see these points addressed and taken into consideration when reviewing the proposed Plan for Southwark.

Response to Tottenham Area Action Plan 2015

Latin Elephant Feedback to Tottehnam Area Action Plan 2015

Pueblito Paisa in Seven Sisters Market, is home to the second largest concentration of Latin American businesses in London, and as its name suggests the retailers are mostly Colombian, but there are also retailers from Peru and Cuba. Wards Corner – the building that houses Pueblito Paisa – is also home to retailers of African, Afro-Caribbean and Indian descent. A manual survey of Seven Sisters Market revealed that 23 units (out of 39) were occupied by Latin American retailers (Roman-Velazquez, 2013). Pueblito Paisa’s contribution to the local economy is supported by wider community networks and strong community engagement.

Latin Elephant submitted this response to Tottenham Action Area Plan (TAAP) in collaboratin with Pueblito Paisa, Ltd. and West Green Rd & Seven Sisters Development Trust. We continue to promote the contribution that migrant and ethnic communities make to London’s diverse economies and cultures and for supporting exisiting migrant and ethnic retail in Tottenham.

Latin Elephant Gains Change in London Plan 2015

Latin Elephant has made progress in promoting the contribution that migrant and ethnic communities make to London’s diverse economies and cultures.

 Latin Elephant’s advocacy for inclusion of migrant and ethnic economies took a positive turn when one of our recommendations was adopted in the London Plan 2015. Not all we asked for was acknowledged, and more is needed to fully address the needs of migrant and ethnic economies in London, but this is a step in the right direction.

What we argued: 

Latin Elephant’s Chair, Patria Roman highlighted a gap between urban policy and migrant and ethnic economies in the London Plan. Large proportion of regeneration programmes in London are triggered by existing and proposed opportunity areas in the London Plan. This in turn is happening in London’s most London Plan 2015 Cover Pagedeprived boroughs where the proportion of migrant and ethnic businesses is high.

This disconnect between urban policy and migrant and ethnic economies trickles down to borough level where the mechanisms to manage change are not robust enough to ensure that existing small migrant and ethnic economies remain viable and vital.

The London Plan comes short of mentioning or even acknowledging migrant and ethnic economies in equal terms with other economies: e.g. technology, creative industries are explicitly addressed in the London Plan.

Recommendation to policy 4.8:


Clause g ‘manage clusters of uses having regard to their positive and negative impacts on the objectives, policies and priorities of the London Plan…

What we asked for:

We asked for an acknowledgement of the importance of migrant and ethnic clusters in promoting social and community cohesion by adding an extra point to policy 4.8 g viii (page 171-172).

Change adopted:

Policy 4.8 g viii (page 171-172) acknowledges the ‘potential to realise the economic benefits of London’s diversity’ by making reference to paragraph 3.3 in Chapter 3: London’s People which highlights the Mayor’s commitment to ensuring that London ‘provides equal life chances for all its people, enabling them to realise their potential and aspirations, make a full contribution to the economic success of their city – and share in its benefits – while tackling problems of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination that impede them’.

What next:

Supporting specialist ethnic and migrant retail is relevant for regeneration schemes across London and a pertinent policy aspect at borough level.

Regeneration offers opportunities for growth and with the right mechanisms in place existing migrant and ethnic economies and small and micro enterprises in boroughs across London can continue to thrive and contribute to London’s economic growth, vibrancy and cultural diversity.

We will continue to advocate at Borough levels for the adoption of measures and mechanisms in support of migrant and ethnic economies and highlight that these need to be in line with the London Plan 2015.

Link to London Plan, March 2015:


London’s Latin Quarter

London’s Latin Quarter is here to stay!

Latin Quarter Vision - Cover Page - Feb2015

The Latin Quarter: Elephant and Castle Community Vision, published by Latin Elephant is the first report to capture the perspective of the Latin American community of retailers at Elephant and Castle, London. Elephant and Castle (EC) is home to the largest Latin American business cluster in London with four core concentrations and more than 80 shops.

Elephant and Castle is undergoing an ambitious programme of urban redevelopment. The regeneration of EC presents challenges and opportunities for London’s Latin population but the improvements are welcomed within the LA community if their sustainability and future presence can be supported.

The LA community have demonstrated adaptability, flexibility and resilience over the last 20 years to make EC the vibrant place that it is today. With the appropriate measures in place the community will continue to thrive, grow and attract new visitors to the area.

The opportunity to create a truly vibrant Latin Quarter in London is unique. Latin Elephant is providing opportunities for Latin Americans to participate in the process of urban change in what is now a key design and planning stage at EC.

The report presents a series of projects and strategies that could be implemented together or separately in order to address the current needs of the community and look towards the future.

You can find a link to the report here:

It is also available in Latin Elephant’s web page: by clicking this link:

Latin Elephant answers question on Retail and Town Centres at EiP FALP 2014

Latin Elephant & JSEP’s response to EiP FALP 2014

Latin Elephant is member of Just Space Economy and Planning Group (JSEP). We would like to thank JSEP for the opportunity to answer the following question under the theme ‘retail and town centres’ in the enquiry in public (EiP) for FALP 2014:

“The FALP envisages a structural change in retail provision driven largely by changes in the way people shop (internet, multi-channel shopping etc) and leading to, amongst other things, the expansion or strengthening of some centres and the decline of others. Are the proposed alterations to Policies 2.15, 4.7 and 4.8 (and the supporting reasoned justification) sufficient to manage these changes particularly where centres are declining to ensure that they remain viable and vital?”

JSEP’s written response to this question is based on collaborative work amongst members of Just Space and on the day the response focused on Latin Elephant’s work. Latin Elephant’s argument about the disconnect between urban policy and small migrant ethnic economies was noted by the inspector: A great achievement for JSEP and Latin Elephant!  Follow the link to read the full response: Latin Elephant’s response to EiP FALP 2014

Migrant ethnic economies and urban regeneration in London

Is there space for alternative migrant and ethnic economies in a regenerated London? By Patria Roman-Velazquez, Latin Elephant.
London for All: opening up debate on London’s economy (14 July 2014)