Monday, 21 March 2011
The BBC reports that the long awaited plans to demolish Earl's Court exhibition centre and replace it with, among other things, large scale new housing is to go ahead. This, of course, is the battle ground of the West Kensington Estate whose owners have such little trust in our Council's promises to protect their interests that they have tried to use new powers to forcibly evict them as a "rogue landlord".
West Kensington Estate residents don't want to move, basically. They say they are happy with their homes as they are and fear being priced out of any redevelopment, forcing them to leave the area. This is fanned by our MP Andy Slaughter who says that is precisely the Council's intention, with the picture above being taken at a rally he hosted with the residents in the House of Commons.
The Council dispute this, arguing that far from driving people out their plans are aimed at increasing the number of affordable homes in the area. But the fact that H&F Council was served a "notice to quit" by it's own residents illustrates the complete lack of trust between them.
What has muddied the waters in the past was the aggressive public relations operation mounted by developers CapCo, with their own chief PR man even having a stand up argument with little me in this article's comments section here.
So, guess what, this one looks like adding to the very long line of controversial planning disputes pitting H&F Council against residents which end up in the courts! What will be interesting is whether or not the residents formal application to evict H&F Council and take over the estate themselves will actually work - the truth is, nobody knows.
Posted by Chris Underwood at 05:29