Discussions between developer Capco and Hammersmith and Fulham Council could see Farrells overhauling its masterplan for the Earl’s Court area in London
The council and neighbouring Kensington & Chelsea gave planning permission in 2012 for the practice’s original masterplan, which contained proposals for 7,500 new homes.
In an announcement to the Stock Exchange this morning, Capco confirmed that it was discussing new proposals with the Labour regime at Hammersmith and Fulham, which has sought to increase the amount of affordable housing included in the scheme.
In its statement, Capco confirmed that ‘it remains in discussions with Hammersmith and Fulham to bring forward an enhanced masterplan for the Earl’s Court Opportunity Area’.
It said that any new masterplan would seek to deliver an increased number of homes across all tenures throughout the area
The exact shape of the masterplan will be influenced by mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision on whether to grant a request by Capco to increase the number of homes included in the Earl’s Court Opportunity Area to 10,000. Any increase is expected to be revealed in the revised London Plan, which is expected to be released later this month.
The news of a potential revision to the Earl’s Court plans comes after Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader Steve Cowan, in a letter to residents, said any new planning application could see the council regain ownership of two council estates sold to Capco.
He said: ‘My colleagues and I have been negotiating hard to either get the estates back or radically improve the deal and secure new, like-for-like homes for all our residents on the two estates.’
The Labour regime, elected in 2014, has severely criticised the original plans for failing to provide replacement, like-for-like homes for council tenants on the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates.
However, Capco’s statement said only that Hammersmith and Fulham could ‘take the lead’ on future plans for the estates, and a spokesperson would not confirm whether this could mean full ownership.
Capco also warned that if a revised masterplan was not agreed, it would retain legal ownership of the estates.
Despite this, campaigners against Capco’s proposals welcomed the news.
Community activist Jonathan Rosenberg said: ‘The council leader is working very hard to get the estates out of the land sale contract. We believe that our campaign is on course for victory and we look forward to finally lifting the curse that has so sorely afflicted our community.’