An artist’s impression of the development which will replace the Earls Court Exhibition Centre has been revealed, days after angry demonstrators opposed to the masterplan get creative to make their feelings known.
It comes as developers Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) received the green light from planners at Kensington and Chelsea Council for the new Exhibition Square on Thursday (January 26).
But earlier in the month, residents living in homes threatened by the development used a community day to expose the harm plans are causing them and their neighbourhood.
The Earls Court masterplan, which recently saw Capco increase the number of homes it wants to build from 7,500 to 10,000 , would result in the demolition of West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates .
During the community event held at Capco’s Project Rooms in Empress Place on January 14, visitors were encouraged to decorate biscuits and create their own personalised organic tote bag.
But the developers received some cotton bags with “Capco has broken my heart and stolen my home”, “Capco KILLED Earls Court: get your bloody hands off the estates” and “Save W14” written on them.
The bags were hung but then taken down soon after, according to Sally Taylor, chairperson of West Kensington Tenants & Residents Association.
She said: “I took Capco up on their disconcerting offer to ‘personalise my own tote bag’ and expressed my emotions via the acrylic paints provided.
"My work was exhibited until Capco realised I had painted off message.
“They promptly censored my efforts by removing it from the display.
"They might believe they can destroy my home, but surely even they realise they can’t dictate what I think and feel.”
Another estate resident, Linda Sanders, added: “This is about taking our homes from us against our will .
"When you visit their exhibitions they dazzle you with fancy technology and shiny kitchens and bathrooms.
“But they don’t tell you what you really need to know, such as how high the service charge would be or that temporary tenants have no rights at all in the redevelopment.”
Capco welcomed the planning approval for Exhibition Square, saying it will create an important gateway to the Earls Court scheme and its new high street , including a public square and gardens, a hotel, offices and an entrance to Earls Court Underground station.
It is the latest part of the masterplan to receive detailed consent following the granting of outline planning permission in 2013 .
The 139,000 sq ft Exhibition Square plans include two buildings designed by architect KPF creating hotel and office space.
It will offer 3,000m2 of open public realm at the start of a new High Street that will connect North End Road in the west to Warwick Road in the east.
The adjacent Exhibition Square Gardens create 1,300m2 of green space off Warwick Road.
A new Underground station entrance will also be provided, connecting the development directly with Earl’s Court Underground Station.
Mike Hood, Earls Court group development director, said: “Our detailed plans for Exhibition Square would provide an important gateway to the scheme and mean that the entirety of Earls Court Village, the first of four new urban villages at Earls Court, has received full detailed consent.”
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