Trailblazing anti-development campaigners in Goldhawk Road have turned to classical music to help fund their legal battle against Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
Furious with plans to knock down the Goldhawk Industrial estate and replace it with housing for nearly 400 people, neighbours have managed to persuade the Secretary of State to suspend planning permission and hold a public enquiry between May 25-June 2.
But with legal fees set to cost residents £13,000, they have turned to Brackenbury-based students of the Royal London College of Music to help them reach their target.
More than 25 musicians, who live at the college's Goldhawk Road campus, have have agreed to perform a 90 minute concert at Holy Innocents Church, Paddenswick Road, on May 14, which is expected to add about £2,000 to the battle fund.
Organisers Michele# Jaffe-Pearce and Nigel Winkle say the concert is win-win for everyone – the classical music fans who get to watch a world-class performance for just £8, the campaigners, and the students, who will get much needed exposure.
Nineteen-year-old violinist Ingrid Clement said: "We are always looking for performance opportunities. We need to play in public, so we are very happy to do what we are passionate about, and help to raise money.”
Residents are confident their efforts will pay off, despite admitting they face a 'David vs Goliath' battle.
Developer London Newcastle is hiring a senior barrister to fight its case, while the campaigners will only have funds for a junior legal team.
But fuelled with a sense of injustice born out of perceived underhand tactics from the council, and disgust that more than 200 jobs could be lost from the estate's four firms – drinks makers Innocent, production firm Soundhouse, medical company Annalox and car dealer R.A Creamer – they are quietly confident of victory.
Ms Jaffe-Pearce said: "There has been amazing support because people are just up in arms. There were 250 letters sent to the council opposing this, while just one person was in favour, yet the council attached as much weight to that one person as they did for the 250.
"There are only 50 cases that are 'called in' for public enquiries each year and that shows there are a lot of anomalies here.
"It is unbelievably cavalier of the council to just throw away 200 local jobs in place of a hideous housing development that no one wants, least of all the businesses who don't want to go.
"It is going to be difficult, but there is such a great feeling among the community that I believe we can pull it off."
So far the group have raised £8,500 from various other fundraising activities, from bBay (a play on eBay, which stands for Brackenbury), where people have put unwanted items up for sale and donated the profits, to one-off donations.
Other forthcoming events include a yard sale, where people will give over their gardens to sell their goods, and a sold-out party at the nearby Sipsmith gin distillery.
*To book tickets for the concert, which takes place at 7.30pm on May 14, call 05602 544057, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in at 197 Goldhawk Road. The yard event takes place on May 8 between 11am-3pm. Participating houses will have a gold balloon floating outside.