The shops in Brixtons railway arches are part of a lively community market popular with locals and people from all over London. In February, Network Rail, the owner of the arches, announced plans to evict more than 30 shops based in the arches as part of major redevelopment plans for the area. Many of these companies have been trading in Brixtons arches for more than 40 years and are an integral part of the local community.
The campaign group Save the Brixton Arches formed to stand up to Network Rail. It has organised protests, information events and a petition against the redevelopment, which has already attracted more than 27,000 signatures.
The organisers of the Save the Brixton Arches campaign believe a 300% rent increase following the refurbishment of the arches will push out local businesses, destroying the markets Brixton is known for and harming the community. They expect multinational chains to move into the arches because they would be the only companies able to afford the increased rent prices.
Save the Brixton Arches demands a phased refurbishment that will not disrupt businesses. The campaign also calls for a slow rent increase, over several years, in order to keep local companies in the arches.
Lambeth Council is publicly supporting the campaign against the mass eviction. Traders on the market have requested a judicial review of Network Rails proposal.