Last weekend the Mail on Sunday exposed how the London Mayor’s office and Hammersmith and Fulham Council had agreed with developers Capco to build the smallest possible number of affordable homes on the proposed Earl’s Court/West Ken mega-development.
This will take 22 years to build and include 8,000 flats in blocks up to 30 storeys high. Most will be sold off plan to foreign buyers at premium prices. As well as demolishing 760 new or newly-modernised existing affordable homes the development will destroy the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centres and an essential manufacturing and maintenance depot for the tube.
At least, you might think, the council will have got a good price for selling off public land to an ambitious developer. On their own figures they will receive £54 million net. But two weeks ago Chelsea FC allegedly offered £200 million for a smaller part of the site.
Why do the council and the mayor want to sell a whole community for an undervalue? It is normal in projects of this length to have a review after five or ten years – if the developer has done better than expected they provide more subsidised housing. But the council and the mayor let that pass too.
I have written this week to the mayor to ask him to reject the application. If he does not I will ask the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry. After all, this £8 billion scheme is the biggest in London. And both our council tax and West Kensington residents are currently paying for the developer’s bonuses.
Labour MP for Hammersmith