Developer plans more homes through 'enhanced' Earls Court masterplan

The developer behind the regeneration of London's Earls Court has confirmed that it is working on an 'enhanced masterplan' for the area which would see the development of more homes and the local council 'taking the lead' on the controversial redevelopment of two housing estates within the regeneration area.

The Gibbs Green estate with the now-demolished Earls Court Exhibition Centre in the background
The Gibbs Green estate with the now-demolished Earls Court Exhibition Centre in the background

The existing approved masterplan, drawn up by architect Terry Farrell, comprises proposals for 940,000 square metres of development, including 7,500 homes, offices, hotels, education, cultural and community facilities, as well as a new 3 hectare park.

The plans have been opposed by groups representing existing tenants on two estates - West Kensington and Gibbs Green - which are due to be demolished to make way for the project.

Work is already well underway on the first phases of the development, but it has emerged that the developer, Capco, and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham are seeking to make changes to the masterplan and a development deal which included the sale of the two estates to the developer.

A letter sent by the council to tenants of the two estates this week said that the deal provided "weak and insufficient provision for replacement affordable homes" on the estates.

"This was a poor deal for residents. In fact, the terms of that contract failed to guarantee to provide replacement, like-for- like homes, for all the current estates’ residents which meant many residents would not be re-housed", the letter said.

It added that, since 2014, the council had been "negotiating hard to either get the estates back or radically improve the deal and secure new, like-for- like homes for all our residents on the two estates".

It said that the developer is now proposing to develop a new masterplan for the Earls Court scheme.

"If that gets planning permission, we would see the two estates return to council control", the letter said.

A spokeswoman for Capco said that the developer had always argued there was an "opportunity to evolve the Earls Court masterplan so it can deliver more benefits for everyone involved".

She added: "Our existing contractual arrangement with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in relation to the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates remains legally binding, however we are working closely with the council to bring forward an enhanced masterplan for the Earls Court Opportunity Area.

"An enhanced masterplan would seek to deliver an increased number of homes across all tenures throughout the wider Opportunity Area and could involve LBHF taking the lead on future plans for the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates."

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