Cabinet agrees further progress on Earls Court

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Cabinet agrees further progress on Earls Court

Tuesday April 24, 2012

A proposed agreement that could pave the way for thousands of new homes and jobs around Earls Court ‘is suitable for recommendation to council subject to no major issues arising' - councillors agreed last night.

Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s Cabinet agreed that a Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) to include West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in wider plans for the area would go to a future Cabinet meeting, subjected to no major issues emerging in remaining negotiations between the council and developer Capital & Counties.

If the CLSA is agreed all 760 homes on the two estates would be rebuilt in the redevelopment area.

Council tenants, resident leaseholders and freeholders would be compensated and only have to move once their new home is ready.

The progress report to Cabinet follows a consultation on the two estates and the wider area in which 1,427 responses were considered.

The consultation revealed that the majority of people who responded to the consultation on the estates were opposed to redevelopment, while the majority of people in the wider area were in favour.

In terms of the statutory consultation on the estate itself:

  • 331 secure council tenants out of 584 eligible submitted responses (57%), of which:
  • 215 objected - 64.9% who took part in the consultation or 36.8% of the total number of secure council tenants who could have participated
  • 102 supported - 30.8% who took part in the consultation or 17.5% of secure council tenants who could have participated
  • 9 people had concerns but did not indicate support or objection (2.7% of people who took part in the consultation)
  • 5 people were neutral or did not provide enough information (1.5% of people who took part in the consultation)

All consultation responses are available for inspection upon request, although information that could identify individuals has been redacted to protect their privacy.

Councillors said that the ‘majority’ of concerns raised by residents on the estates could be resolved and vowed to continue listening and talking to local people. Last night (April 23) they heard from residents both opposed and in favour of redevelopment.

If the CLSA is agreed residents on the estates would be offered contracts, the terms of which have been negotiated a Steering Group of residents on the estates using independent legal advice. The draft terms are:

  • All homes on the estate would be replaced within the redevelopment area.
  • People would only have to move when their new home is ready to be occupied.
  • People who are currently overcrowded on the estate would be offered a home with more bedrooms. People who are under-occupying would be offered a new home with one additional bedroom above their need.
  • Secure council tenants would remain secure tenants and receive £4,700 compensation per household, plus new white goods, carpets and curtains. All reasonable fees will be paid and a dedicated re-housing officer will help every step of the way.
  • Resident leaseholders and freeholders would receive the market value of their home, to be independently assessed, and an extra 10% of that amount in compensation. They would be offered a 10% early purchase discount on the value of a new home should they wish to buy-back into the redevelopment. They would not have to increase their mortgage costs to do this.
  • Leaseholder service charges would be capped for five years and then controlled by the Council after that point.

Councillors said at last night’s meeting that the deal negotiated by residents ‘was the best deal offered in any regeneration scheme in London’.

If the CLSA is agreed the council would eventually receive approximately £105million, an estimated £64 million of which, after compensation and costs, would be available to be reinvested back in the borough. The council would also receive 760 replacement homes for people currently living on the estates. Taken together independent financial advice received by the council says the CLSA would be worth £214 million to £288 million as a whole before costs.

If redevelopment happens it would be based around the vision of Sir Terry Farrell’s masterplan which would create 9,500 new permanent jobs and 36,000 temporary construction jobs.

The masterplan is built on a vision of creating four separate ‘villages’ linked by a new High Street and park. Overall this would include 7,583 new homes, of which 1,500 would be affordable. It would also include new shops, offices, leisure facilities, a new school, new transport links and healthcare centre.

A detailed planning application to 808 build homes at Seagrave Road has been approved by H&F Council. If the CLSA is agreed approximately 200 of these homes would be used in a first phasing plan. People would be moved in defined blocks designed to minimise disruption, keep neighbours together and ensure that people only have to move once.

Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, H&F Council Leader, said: “Our part of west London is a vital engine of the London economy and the London economy drives UK growth. Growth is the engine of economic opportunity and this country needs economic growth.

“We have long said that we are interested in seeing if our residents could benefit from this strategic redevelopment opportunity.”

Notes to edtor:

Leader's speech in full» (pdf 140KB)
Presentation to Cabinet» (pdf 90KB)