Developer wanted to increase the number of homes it was to build at the 77-acre site

Ec crane image march 2017

Hammersmith & Fulham council have turned down Earls Court developer Capco’s request for a new masterplan for the west London site.

Capco originally got planning approval for the Sir Terry Farrell-designed masterplan in 2013 to build over 7,500 homes at Earls Court.

But towards the end of 2016, it said it wanted to increase the number of homes by 2,500 to 10,000 and had presented proposals to the Greater London Authority (GLA) as part of the consultation for the revised London Plan.

In its half year results in 2017, Capco reported that it had had outlined to the GLA the Earls Court masterplan’s ability to deliver “a minimum of 10,000 new homes” and chief executive Ian Hawksworth said the firm was progressing plans to maximise the scheme.

But today the council said in a statement on its website that it did not “believe that the proposed level of density and affordable housing could be supported or delivered”.

It added that it had also taken into account the concerns raised in October by the neighbouring Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the recent position of the Greater London Authority on regeneration schemes. 

The council said it viewed the current agreed scheme as undeliverable and have called on Capco to return the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates to it.

Capco said in a statement: ”We note with disappointment the statements released by London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF) dated 18 January 2018, regarding the viability of “the proposed level of density and affordable housing”, however as announced on 8 November 2017, we remain in discussions with LBHF in relation to future plans for the Estates, as part of the wider masterplan,” .

”The scheme is the only central London opportunity area of scale with the potential to deliver substantially more housing, and we continue to work collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders to bring forward the Earls Court masterplan in order to generate significant additional benefits for the local and wider London community.”

In a statement to the stock exchange in November last year Capco confirmed it was in discussions with the Hammersmith & Fulham council to bring forward an enhanced masterplan for its Earls Court scheme, which could involve the council taking the lead on the future plans for the two estates.

The firm has the majority share (63%) in its partnership with Transport for London, which is redeveloping the site of the former Earls Court Exhibtion Centre and a 50% stake in its joint venture with Kwok Family Interests for the 808-home Lillie Square project adjacent to the Earls Court masterplan, where 230 homes have been completed in the first phase being built by Sir Robert McAlpine.

Rival contractor Wates was signed up last year to build phase two at Lillie Square on a £110m contract.

Elsewhere in Earls Court Capco owns the Empress State Building, currently home to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Capital & Counties (Capco) posted a £25.3m pre-tax profit for the six months ended 30 June 2017, up from a pre-tax loss of £198.2m for the same period in 2016, while revenue edged up to £43.7m from £40.5m. It will report its full year results for 2017 next month.

Hammersmith & Fulham council have been contacted for comment.