Council and CapCo ‘clash’ over Earls Court

earls courtDiscussion of the proposed redevelopment of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre site prompts reports of a ‘clash’ between Council and developer.

Both the Evening Standard and the Architects’ Journal covered the ongoing discussions between Capital & Counties and LB Hammersmith & Fulham about the future of the site, on which nothing can happen in any case until it has hosted the 2012 Olympic Volleyball tournament.
 
The AJreports that Capital and Counties has submitted documents to the Council for 10,000 new homes as well as shopping and leisure facilities, a hotel and 600,000sqm of office space on the 67 acre site.

The Standard reports the ‘clash’, as this contrasts with LBHFs vision for a £400m International Conference Centre (ICC), and around 2,000 homes. CapCo are reported to feel any conferencing facilities would be better located at Olympia, a site which it also owns.

Whether this is in any way different to the normal to and fro around any significant site is unclear – there is certainly an ongoing dialogue between Council and CapCo about the future of the site. What is sure is that both parties recognise the need for the site to be redeveloped – together with the railway lands adjacent, and the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates, which LBHF have included in their “Earls Court Regeneration Area” – one of five key areas in the Borough where they want to see improvement.

A council spokesman said: “The potential redevelopment of Earls Court presents a major regeneration opportunity to bring much needed investment to West Kensington and North Fulham with the potential to deliver significant new homes, jobs and altogether a new mixed use quarter for residents and businesses. If carefully planned, the site could deliver the Councils ambition to provide a decent neighbourhood with a ladder of employment and low cost home ownership opportunities for residents.”

The Council believe that a new ICC would bring a significant economic boost to the immediate area, and indeed to the whole of West London, and that the Earls Court site is far better suited to such a project than any site in the east of London.

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