Residents fighting to save the homes they live in from the Earls Court development have received a huge boost.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has called for the return of Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates back from Capital & Counties Properties (Capco).
The local authority says the proposal is "undeliverable" and that "the only viable way forward" is for the estates' return.
Capco is "disappointed" by the statement but said it remains in dialogue with council, while those living on the estate have welcomed the move.
The West Kensington estates were sold by the previous Conservative-administration council to Capco in 2012.
In November last year, Labour leader of the council Stephen Cowan criticised the sale in a letter which gave hope to those living in the threatened homes, as it emerged the developer was in talks with the local authority to alter its masterplan.
In its statement, issued on Thursday (January 18), the council say it has considered the request for a new masterplan and noted concerns raised by neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea Council and the position of the Greater London Authority on regeneration schemes.
"Therefore LBHF (the council), as landowner, does not believe that the proposed level of density and affordable housing could be supported or delivered," the statement read.
"LBHF views the current agreed scheme as undeliverable and have called on Capco to return the estates to LBHF as this is the only viable way forward."
Diana Belshaw, the chairman of Gibbs Green & Dieppe Close RA, claimed Capco no longer wanted the estates. She said: "They have put people through nine years of complete distress about losing our homes and now they want to get rid of us.
"Its a good idea to give the estate back and let us run it. We've always said their plans are undeliverable and that they should give it back."
She welcomed the statement as another milestone in their campaign: "For nine, nearly 10 years, we have fought hard and been knocked back but we have kept going forward and now there's light at the end of the tunnel. And it's not a little light, it's a big light."
And she vowed: "They're not going to get rid of us no matter what. To get me out of my home they will have to get the bailiffs in and drag me out because I'm not moving."
In 2016, residents from the estates put together an alternative People's Plan to demonstrate new homes and improvements can be achieved without demolition.
Organiser Jonathan Rosenberg also said Capco was looking for a way out: “Residents are fed up with being kicked around in this high-stakes game of property speculation.
"Capco want to exit the Earls Court scheme, but there’s no way anyone will buy it so long as our estates and our deeply entrenched campaign are part of the package.
"The best way for them to de-risk the redevelopment is to hand back the estates to the council. For the sake of our community, they should do it now.”
The consented masterplan for the Earls Court opportunity area provides for 7,500 new homes, will create 10,000 jobs and deliver over £450 million of community benefits.
The developers said it is looking to increase the number of homes to 10,000 as part of a new masterplan.
Capco said: "We note with disappointment the statements released by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham dated January 18 2018, regarding the viability of 'the proposed level of density and affordable housing', however as announced on November 8 2017, we remain in discussions with LBHF in relation to future plans for the estates, as part of the wider masterplan."
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