Council makes Earls Court promises

Residents of the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates have been promised new homes and that neighbours can be kept together in a future Earls Court.

Capco – the owner of the Earls Court site – plans to submit a planning application to the council this year for a massive redevelopment, which will inlude a new town centre in north Fulham, near the estates.

LB Hammersmith & Fulham Council says that no decision has been taken on whether to include the two estates in the scheme. However, the Council has been working with people living in the estates, who had independent legal advice, and has drawn up draft assurances that will form the basis of legally-binding agreements.

The assurances say that tenants will only have to move once and friends and neighbours will be kept together by moving in phases once their new homes are built. The promises also detail that the new homes they move into will have brand new household goods including a fridge/freezer, washing machine/dryer, dishwasher, oven/hob and new carpets and curtains.

Leaseholders will be given the market value of their home plus 10% compensation. They will get a discount on a new home in the proposed development if they sign up early and will not have to increase their mortgages to afford a new property.

West Kensington Estate resident Richard Osband said: “We have been working closely with the Council to jointly produce this set of assurances because we want to influence what could happen to us if the development went ahead. We believe that we have managed to get a fair deal for all residents. A deal that allows us to all stay within the development area, that allows council tenants to remain secure council tenants, leaseholders to purchase an affordable new home, a deal that means we only have to move once and that will ensure our community is kept together.”

Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh said: “We understand residents have been concerned about the future and wanted concrete reassurances, and that is why we have spent a long time working with people living on the estates to produce these legally binding guarantees that they will be able to stay in the area. I hope these assurances will give people the security and confidence they need.”

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