Gentrification leads to drastic changes in Deptford

Many areas in London are affected by gentrification but the Lewisham borough has come under the top ten most gentrified areas recently, according to a study from the Evening Standard.

This is evident in the town of Deptford, with around 3 new developments being built and major changes being seen within the past 5 years. One most notably being Deptford High Street.

The high street, famed for its market, has seen an increase in more pricey and commercial shops such as Asda and the new Sainsburys, but with this comes a decline in family owned shops and market stalls as rent becomes harder to pay.

Deptford resident Simone Peynado-Clarke, who has lived there for 16 years, said:  “when I think of gentrification, I think of the local high street.

“ It used to be culturally sound, there used to be many stalls and markets offering different things from across the world and brimming with different people but it’s now half the size and there are a lot more cafes, restaurants and the buildings have definitely changed.”

She mentioned: “ I’ve spoken to owners of places like the hairdressers and food shops, they can no longer afford rent so they’ve had to move out and then other people have come and redeveloped those buildings.” 

Peynado-Clarke also recognized the benefits of gentrification in Deptford saying: “ the area is now more up and coming.

“Deptford used to have a negative connotation, people used to be afraid to come to the area due to violence and gang crime.

“Since its change, that has also gone as many have moved out.” 

She continued, saying that more businesses have been introduced which welcomes more customers and an overall sense of freedom.

When discussing the rise in housing developments  Clarke voiced how these houses rarely benefit those who already live in the area but only newcomers who can actually afford the expensive housing. 

new flats that have recently been built in deptford.

An example of this is the new Lacewood Apartments on Timberyard Street, where a two bedroom flat costs around £1,798 compared to the average rent of Lewisham £1,400.

The gentrification in Deptford introduces a different social dynamic, with people who are seemingly more upper class forming their own areas and communities. 

Peynado-Clarke has noticed the shift in the community in recent years, saying: “ I see a lot less togetherness, it’s less friendly.” 

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