Earls Court Opportunity Area
This Assembly notes that the Mayor of London has approved the Earls Court Opportunity Area plans, which will mean that:
· the Earls Court exhibition centres will be demolished in the absence of a full, independent economic impact assessment, and in the face of opposition from the event organisers industry;
· the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates will be unnecessarily demolished, denying the requests of the current residents to take over and manage their own estates, and new homes will be unaffordable to ordinary Londoners ; and
· the Lillie Bridge Depot will be demolished without a proper assessment of what the loss would mean to London transport and before a suitable replacement location has been identified, threatening 550 manufacturing jobs.
TfL should not enter a joint venture to develop these sites until:
· suitable alternative exhibition space has been established for Earls Court;
· relocation of the Lillie Bridge Depot is secured;
· TfL is certain it is getting best value for its land, which could be achieved through an open tendering or an agreement to retain an interest in the development;
· the developer agrees a review mechanism under which an increase in the site value would require a proportional increase in affordable housing provision; and
· there is certainty that all necessary land has been acquired by the developer and that legal action has been exhausted.
This Assembly therefore condemns the Mayor of London’s decision, and condemns the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government for refusing to call in the application for a public inquiry.
This Assembly considers that these decisions are grave mistakes and calls on the Mayor of London, when deciding future planning applications on major regeneration projects, ensure that he gives proper consideration and due weight to the full economic, social and environmental implications of the applicant’s plans. On the Earls Court site in particular, he must ensure that TfL resolves the issues outlined above before moving ahead.