Earls Court legal challenge described as absurd

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Earls Court legal challenge described as 'absurd'

Wednesday January 23, 2013

A judge has thrown out a legal challenge that threatened £1billion worth of community benefits to North Fulham and Earls Court, describing it as ‘absurd’.

West Kensington Estate resident Harold Greatwood, applied to court to launch a judicial review of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council's decision to enter into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement with EC Properties to include the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the wider regeneration of Earls Court. He challenged the decision on four grounds.

But earlier this week (Monday, January 21) The Honourable Mr Justice John Mitting sitting in the Administrative Court refused permission for the application for a Judicial Review, ruling against Mr Greatwood on all four grounds.

Finding that the challenge to the Council's consultation was “not reasonably arguable”, Mr Justice Mitting said: “The analysis of the consultation responses put to cabinet on 23 April 2012 and 3 September 2012 was balanced and fair. The suggestion that the results of the consultation were hidden is unwarranted". He went on to say that "The time for the consultation - nine weeks - was adequate" and that "The suggestion that because the defendant did not address the consultation documents to tenants by name or to the ‘tenant’, the process was flawed, is absurd.”

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “The redevelopment of Earls Court is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the local residents to benefit from a multi-billion pound investment in their own neighbourhood.”

Notes for editors:

The Earls Court regeneration project will create up to 7,583 new homes. It will also include new shops, offices, leisure facilities, public open space, a new school, new transport links, healthcare centre and community centre. In addition, it will create up to 9,500 new permanent jobs and 1,500-2,000 jobs per year in construction, based on an approximate total of 36,000 construction jobs over an estimated development period of 20 years.

The terms of the CLSA state:

  • 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, with rents remaining in line with the rest of the council’s housing stock, 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 up to a cap of £47,000. 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 be expected 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.
  • Tenant service charges will remain in the control of the council and only cover the services actually received.

EC Properties is a subsidiary of Capital and Counties Properties Plc.

» Send us your comments now

Erm, no they have not been given the go ahead. TFL have yet to agree on it.
TFL own the land in earls court. not H&F or capco.
Plus there has to be a separate judicial review in autum on the policy of the planning process.
plus there are other legal challenges to be had.
So unless this country has been totally infested with imoral judges and mps, then CapCo cannot start work on the scheme and i doubt that they ever will.
From d on 03/02/2013 at 07:59
The lack of guarantees to shore up the insubstantial EC Properties LP makes the development risky and unfair in terms of profit share for the Council.
EC Properties LP stands to make in excess of £1 billion over 25 years while the Council gets £54 million in cash and an inadequate level of affordable homes.
The 740 new affordable intermediate homes will be sold to a registered social landlord and not given to the council.
The 760 replacement homes are not a net gain to the borough since they replace 760 perfectly good existing homes.
The CLSA gives EC Properties LP five years to think about it and 20 years to cherry pick what it wants from the estates, engineering a building site holding pen for residents of up to 20 years.
From Richard Osband on 28/01/2013 at 23:23
I am not a resident on the estate, but if I was I would be very worried. I work in regeneration and I know large housing schemes like this often don't leave residents in better homes at the end. They drag on for so many years that a lot of people can't take the stress and uncertainty, and are driven away from the area. Often overcrowded families with young children have to give up and move away first.
If this was just a fairly small scheme to improve or rebuild the existing homes, I wouldn't be so worried. But this is a multi-billion pound development to bring wealthy residents into the area, so the interests of working class tenants won't be at the heart of the plans; there's no profit in providing new homes for them.
You might think a scheme with so much money involved must produce some improvement in the lives of the existing residents. Sadly, I don't think the plan will achieve this, because it is about changing the area, not just improving it - and councillors & council staff often think changing the residents is an easy way to do this. Councils & developers tend to see local communities as part of the problem, to be simply moved on, not as local citizens to be protected.
From Ian Simpson on 28/01/2013 at 21:26
I think it is a terrible idea. You say you have consulted with residents and the vast majority have told you they do not want it yet you fail to listen. If you really wanted their views you would have had discussions with the TRA,s instead of setting up a steering group of hand picked people and giving them £38k of tax payers money. Also I would like to know how you are going to get the Mayors support for high rise blocks when he said on TV last week that high rise buildings should be torn down
From Trumpton on 28/01/2013 at 18:16
I WELCOME THE PROPOSALS REFERRED TO BUT FIRSTLY HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO TAKE BEFORE THE NEW HOMES ARE READY TO MOVE INTO & WHAT TRUTH IS THERE TO THE ALLEGATION THAT CERTAIN TENANTS WILL BE GIVEN PREFERENCE BECAUSE THEY CO-OPERATED WITH THE COUNCIL IN EXCHANGE FOR VOTING TO UPHOLD THE DECISION OR WILL WE ALL BE GIVEN EQUAL PREFERENCE WHEN THE TIME COMES TO MOVING INTO THESE HOMES OR WAS THIS RUMOUR PROVEN TO BE UNTRUE IN COURT AS THIS WAS EXTREMELY OFFPUTTING & UNFAIR.
From JIM PLAYER on 26/01/2013 at 12:17
On the face of what I have read above this seems a good deal
From reader on 26/01/2013 at 09:43
I can't believe you really think this is a good thing. The sewers can't cope with all the waste from that many bathrooms let alone the schools, mother hospitals, the doctors' surgeries, the list is endless .....
From Hh on 25/01/2013 at 19:54
I am delighted to know that the redevelopment plans are going ahead. I am sure this is the right thing and a positive step forward.
From manzar on 25/01/2013 at 17:49

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