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Earls Court redevelopment comes closer to reality

Approval of two planning applications has moved the plans forward at a rapid pace.

An aerial view of the proposed £8 billion Earls Court redevelopment

The redevelopment of Earls Court is a step closer after the first detailed proposals for a section of the new Earls Court development were given the green light.

Kensington and Chelsea Council and Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s planning committees pushed through Earls Court owner, Capco’s design proposals for the Earls Court masterplan and for the Empress State Building last Thursday (April 3).

These include landscaping, building scale, layout and appearance details for both sections which are considered separate under the proposals.

Both councils granted outline planning permission for the 10.1 million sq ft masterplan in November 2013 despite much opposition from residents of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates and supporters of the famous exhibition centre, which are all to be bulldozed to make way for 7,500 new homes and retail space.

Gary Yardley, investment director of Capco, said: “We are delighted that our detailed proposals for Earls Court have been approved by Kensington and Chelsea Council and Hammersmith and Fulham Council. The project has real momentum and this decision signals another major milestone in delivering the vision for Earls Court. As well as creating a vibrant new part of London, the plans will act as an enormous boost to the economy, creating thousands of new homes and jobs and signalling an £8 billion investment in the local area.”

Residents from the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates are not happy with the way they are being pushed out.

The plans are propelling forwards rapidly, with Transport for London (TfL), who own the Lillie Bridge Rail Depot, agreeing a joint venture with Capco just the week before, to bring forward the first phases of the masterplan.

Last Thursday’s decision means the main section of the site, covering 16 acres with 2.4 million square feet of residential-led mixed-use space - with 1,200 new homes and over three acres of publicly accessible park - is getting closer to physical work starting.

Capco was also given permission last Thursday to change the use of the Empress State Building from commercial to residential which will add 580,00 sq ft of residential floor space, or 340 new homes, to the overall masterplan area.

The developers became full owners of the building in 2013 but it is currently leased to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) until 2019.

Capco have said up to 102 - just over 35 per cent - of the flats in the building will be made available for intermediate affordable housing - a contrast to the 20 per cent planned for the rest of the masterplan site, which already includes replacement homes for residents from West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates who will have their homes knocked down.

 

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