The Mayor of London last night gave his consent to the redevelopment of Earls Court and the surrounding area, paving the way for a £8billion investment enabling the creation of thousands of new homes and jobs.
In a giant step forward for the scheme, on Wednesday, July 3, Boris Johnson confirmed he is happy for the Council to approve the outline planning application from developer EC Properties LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital & Counties Properties PLC, together with a Section 106 package that includes £490million of community improvements.
The redevelopment of Earls Court and the surrounding area is based on a masterplan by world renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell. It will create up to 9,500 new permanent jobs, with an additional 36,000 construction jobs during the build phase. It will also include 7,583 new homes, new shops, offices, leisure facilities, public open space, a new school, new transport links, healthcare centre and community centre on the 77 acre site.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“I’m in no doubt that the development proposed for Earls Court and West Kensington will provide a massive boost not just to this part of the capital, but to London’s wider economy as well. It is a landmark project that will deliver much needed jobs, new homes and improved infrastructure and will make this strategically important part of the capital an even better to place to live, work and visit.”
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill 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. We are delighted that the Mayor of London has given his support for one of the biggest schemes in London for decades. Earls Court has the potential to be as important for West London as the Olympics were for east London. This scheme will usher in a new generation of prosperity and opportunity for tens of thousands of west Londoners.”
As part of the scheme, the Council has entered into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) with EC Properties LP to include the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the wider development of the area.
This week residents living on the estates will be informed by EC Properties LP and Hammersmith & Fulham Council when they are likely to move into new housing provided by the development. The new phasing plan halves the target construction period from 20 years to an estimated ten. Just under a quarter (151) of the 760 replacement homes could be ready to be occupied between 2016 and 2018 in the first phase of construction.
An exhibition is being held for residents on the estates at Earls Court next week (July 8th-10th) to provide information to residents about when they will move, what their next steps involve, how their rights are protected and the type of homes into which they will be moving.
Cllr Botterill added:
“We have said all along that we will only agree to the estates being included in the redevelopment of Earls Court if it benefitted people living on the estates. Estate residents are being offered some of the best terms ever negotiated in any regeneration scheme in the country. There can be no doubt that this scheme will have enormous benefits for both estate residents and London as a whole.”
Gary Yardley, Investment Director at Capital & Counties Properties PLC, the parent company of EC Properties LP, said:
“We are delighted that the Mayor has approved the regeneration of the Earls Court Opportunity Area. This remarkable project will bring major investment, jobs and high-quality homes to West London. With Hammersmith and Fulham Council we have agreed a generous package of community benefits that will support a vibrant, thriving, strong community creating a great place to live, work and visit. We are very pleased that the Mayor has put his seal of approval on this.”
The Mayor, Boris Johnson added:
“I am acutely aware of the concerns that some residents affected by the project have but I’m reassured by the measures being taken by both councils and the developer to make sure the needs of local people are properly addressed. Having weighed up all of the considerations I’m of the firm view that this is a project that will deliver huge benefits to the area and beyond for years to come.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Council resolved to grant outline planning consent for the scheme in September 2012. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted outline planning permission for their element of the scheme in November 2012.
The application will now be referred back to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for him to consider whether or not call in the planning application.