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Earls Court centre 'facing demolition for housing'

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Competition from the O2 Arena and Excel centre has left Earls Court Exhibition Centre, one of London’s most iconic music and exhibition venues, facing demolition

Plans to tear down the imposing art deco structure, which sits in the area between Earl’s Court and West Brompton Tube stations, emerged after developers Capital and Counties (Capco) acquired a second 50 per cent stake, according to the Evening Standard.

Capco now has full ownership of the venue, which is home to the Brit Awards and has played host to some of the world’s top musical acts over the last 70 years, but it will not be demolished until at least 2012 as it is expected to host the volleyball competition at the London Olympics.

A planning application for the 70-acre site is likely to be submitted in the next 12 months, with Capco hoping to build ‘up to 8,000 new homes’ in a ‘large-scale residential-led development’, although the developer stressed that no final decisions have been taken.

It is believed the Olympia exhibition venue, which lies on the same site, could be saved. A Capco spokesman said: ‘We are exploring the option of an enhancement of our world-class exhibition centre at Olympia rather than replacing the exhibition centre at Earls Court.’

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