Hammersmith & Fulham Council is currently consulting on whether to include the West Kensington & Gibbs Green estates in the proposed Earls Court masterplan, developed by Sir Terry Farrell and his team. This sets out a vision to create four villages and a 21st century high street at the 77 acre site. The redevelopment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and plans for up to 7,500 new homes including 1,500 much-needed affordable homes, 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space which would create 12,000 extra jobs and more than a quarter of the site, 23.5 acres, given over to open public space including a five acre ‘Lost River’ park.
Greg Hands M.P. strongly supports the redevelopment of Earl’s Court and West Kensington and urges you to take part in the council’s consultation. Greg has himself responded to the consultation and believes that if the Earls Court scheme goes ahead, it will bring huge improvements to the neighbourhood and wider area, changing the lives of thousands of people for the better.
Not long ago - just over a year in fact - the residents living on the West Kensington & Gibbs Green estates were being told by their Labour M.P. that if redevelopment in the area went ahead that they will be shipped out to Barking & Dagenham. They were also told the council wanted them moved so that they can build luxury homes. Both of these allegations have been exposed as scandalous, despicable lies designed to frighten people witless.
Instead, if redevelopment does go ahead, council tenants will a receive a brand new home that is better and - for many - bigger in exactly the same area they are already living. They would not only get a new and better home but they would also receive almost £5,000 in compensation plus new carpets, fridges and curtains. Far from communities being destroyed, neighbours would be moved over the road together and they would only have to move once somebody knocks on their door with the keys to their new home. Meanwhile, resident leaseholders and freeholders on the estate would receive one of the most generous packages ever negotiated - not only compensation running into tens of thousands of pounds but a discount on a new home that would also be worth tens of thousands of pounds. Greg believes that the legally binding contracts that the residents have negotiated is the one of the best deals ever and recently the council approved the plan for the Seagrave Road car park in his constituency which will see over a quarter of the replacement homes built in the next two years. Instead of living on an estate and in a community that was badly built with divisive high walls, new open space and parks would be created, new schools, health centres built and new community centres opened. New shops would bring new economic life to the area.
How to take part in the consultation:
You can take part in the council’s consultation - which closes on March 12th 2012 - by logging on to www.lbhf.gov.uk/westken.