Responding to recent press reports that the future of the 22-acre site in RBKC, as envisaged under the existing planning permission, is now in grave doubt, Cllr. Linda Wade (Liberal Democrat - Earl’s Court ward) who is Chair of ECAAG asked for an update on the present level of engagement between developer EC Properties Ltd and the Council.
Cllr. Kim Taylor-Smith, Conservative Deputy Leader of RBKC Council, Housing and Regeneration, replying during January’s full Council meeting, said that he had written to the developer’s Chief Executive, “seeking a meeting to consider the site's future".
Taylor-Smith explained that "On the 14th of June the facts on the ground changed in Kensington" and “Politically, I want to make it very clear that I do not believe the continuation of this development under the current terms is right. And I have also written to Cllr. Stephen Cowan [Labour Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council] expressing my concern over this development and I have offered my complete support [to him] to revisit these plans around the entire scheme and I have copied this letter to the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.”
Cllr. Wade replied that crucial questions remain as to the viability of the site in today’s market.
With RBKC now aligning with Hammersmith and Fulham, jointly resolving to put social housing and genuinely affordable homes at the heart of the Earls Court Masterplan, this leaves the proposed luxury, super-prime redevelopment exposed and EC Properties Ltd’s ambitions vulnerable to change.
ECAAG campaigners see this political volte face as a great opportunity to right blatant wrongs, arguing for a wide range of housing options to be built on the site along with the world’s greenest, multi-purpose venue to ensure a prosperous future for the community and Londoners, rather than a fast buck for off-shore speculators.