A community fighting to save the homes they live in say they are angry after developers revealed they are struggling to find buyers for the houses that will replace them.
Earl's Court developers Capital and Counties Properties Ltd (Capco) has said it is struggling to shift the flats in Phase 2 of its Lillie Square development, blaming ‘regulatory intervention’ and a supply glut housing.
People living on West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates have been fighting Capco plans to demolish their homes and build new ones on the site for several years as part of the Earl's Court Masterplan, with a petition calling for Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith to review the masterplan if they are elected London mayor receiving 2,000 signatures.
Decent genuine affordable homes
Matt Bain, a first time homeowner on the Gibbs Green estates who teaches music at a nearby school, said: “It is an insult to be told that there is a ‘supply glut’ of the type of housing that I or nobody I know could ever possibly afford. I have been fighting alongside my neighbours now for five years to save my home.
"These are decent, genuinely affordable places to live, with a strong sense of community. If the next Mayor of London allows demolition to take place, this strong and genuinely socially mixed community will be destroyed as private renters, leaseholders and council tenants are forced out, leaving only the ghost of a Fulham that used to be.”
Murvet Zengin is leading the petition on Change.org, entitled ‘Next Mayor of London 2016: Review the Earl's Court Masterplan and help save our homes!’, thanked supporters, saying: “It feels amazing to know that we are looking out for each other.
"This campaign is for our future, even if you don’t live here - it could happen to anyone.”
The Green, Liberal Democrat and Respect party candidates for London Mayor have all so far committed to review the controversial Earl's Court development if they are elected in May.
The information was released by Capco in its audited preliminary results for the year ending 2015.
The first release of Phase 2 of Lillie Square which comprises 70 units, was launched in September 2015. Capco says 40% of this first release has been reserved or exchanged, but that demand had slowed due to “challenging conditions towards the end of 2015 as a result of increasing supply, particularly in emerging locations, and regulatory intervention”.
Earl's Court plans continue to advance
It said: “Whilst we remain confident in Lillie Square, the rate of sales has reduced compared to 2014, which reflects these challenges in the residential market.”
Ian Hawksworth, Capco chief executive, said: “Our plans at Earl's Court continue to advance as we de-risk our land holdings and progress with the implementation and opportunities of this strategic London scheme.
"The demolition of EC1 & EC2 is progressing well while construction of Phase 1 of Lillie Square is on track.”
The petition can be viewed online here.