Earls Court residents raise legal challenge


West Kensington Tenants and Gibbs Green Tenants residents associations have launched legal proceedings against the planning policy underpinning the Earl’s Court scheme.


Residents of the estates claim that the Earl’s Court/West Kensington Supplementary Planning Document by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea was unlawful.


They are asking the high court to quash the decision.


Interested parties EC Properties – the Capital & Counties special vehicle set up to deliver the regeneration of Earl’s Court – Transport for London, and the Mayor of London’s Office/Greater London Authority have been informed of the claim.


Michael Webster, a partner in law firm Webster Dixon, which is acting for the residents, said: “The defendants have failed to follow the correct procedures in adopting their regeneration plans despite receiving several warnings from residents and others that their actions were unlawful. There is an overwhelming objection by the residents to the demolition of their homes for the sake of a private development. The protection of family homes and the welfare of individuals, many of whom are vulnerable, should not be sacrificed for the profits of a billion-pound developer.”


The residents are calling for the judicial review on six main grounds, including failing to take account of “material considerations about the impacts of the proposed plans on protected groups, failure to consider the need to replace social housing lost by the estates’ demolition and various environmental breaches”.


Sally Taylor, chair of West Kensington Tenants & Residents Association, and Diana Belshaw, chair of Gibbs Green Tenants & Residents Association, said: “This is a close knit community. There’s nothing wrong with our homes. We won’t be bullied into demolition. The council’s planning policy is not only immoral. Now we have asked the high court to declare it unlawful.”