Friday, 12 October 2012

West Ken Court ruling: Reactions

Last night I broke the news of our Council's defeat in the High Court, which ruled that the legality of their plans for the area were open to question. This morning politicians and residents themselves have been reacting to the news that the whole thing will now be subject to a High Court case.

Here's our Council first of all:
"Our planning guidance was adopted correctly and in full consultation with the community. We will be vigorously defending this claim. The regeneration of Earls Court is a major opportunity to attract thousands of new jobs to the area, improve the neighbourhood, build new homes for people currently living on the estates and bring much needed new community facilities such as new shops, a school and health centre".
Here's a residents' spokesperson, who I quoted last night:
"Despite the outcomes of the Cabinet Meeting on 3 September and the Planning Application Committee on 12 September, the Council and CapCo will never succeed in demolishing our homes, causing harm to vulnerable people and disrupting well-established community networks, to please greedy developers and for the sake of gerrymandering".
Here's Murad Qureshi, Member of the London Assembly:
"At the last PQT in Hammersmith Town Hall before GLA election in May, we saw the depth of feeling of these development proposals from local residents. So l am sure this High Court decision will be welcomed and goes much further then the District Auditor decision on Shirley Porter activities at City of Westminster which disappointedly did not look into planning decisions during her reign"
Here's Dave Hill of the Guardian, who has also followed this story closely:
"I acknowledge the idealism of some of those backing the scheme and think I understand their arguments. Yet I'm finding it ever harder to resist concluding that the Earls Court project has been rashly conceived, ineptly executed and pursued with an ideological zeal that has bulldozed aside the more attractive localist principles that modern Conservatism espouses. There is regeneration and there is regeneration. Did the Earls Court saga really need to be this way"?
Andy Slaughter MP has responded with this:
"It seems this council will never learn that it is better to talk to and listen to residents than put themselves in hock to developers. Now they are being taught that lesson by the courts. The is another great victory for the people of west Kensington, campaigning on shoestring against the corporate might of the Town Hall and Capco. But the cost in stress, uncertainty and damage to the community – not to mention public money – is shameful. 
"For four years the council has bullied, tricked and bribed in support of corporate greed and its own warped ideas of social engineering and displacing established communities. It has suborned its planning, housing, and general duties of wellbeing to this end. Now – predictably – it is all beginning to unravel".
More to come...

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