Earls Court redevelopment

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2014-09-10
Session date: 
September 10, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3059
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Boris Johnson (Chair, TfL) and Sir Peter Hendy (Commissioner, TfL)

Question

Who instigated the collaboration with Capco to redevelop Earls Court? Was it TfL or Capco? How and when did any mayoral influence come into it?

Answer

Answer for Earls Court redevelopment

Answer for Earls Court redevelopment

Answered By: 
Boris Johnson (Chair, TfL) and Sir Peter Hendy (Commissioner, TfL)

Capco is the long-term leaseholder of the Earls Court Exhibition Centres, holding two leases from LUL, the freeholder. The first lease for Earls Court 1 was granted in 1959 and has 28 years remaining, the second lease for Earls Court 2 has 102 years remaining. Capco approached TfL about including our property interests within the proposed Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for Earls Court. There was no opportunity for TfL to take forward development without the agreement of its leaseholder Capco, and similarly Capco could not develop without the agreement of the freeholder, TfL. Following the approach from Capco, TfL commissioned external independent advice, which recommended that to deliver best value, TfL should merge its freehold with the long leasehold interest owned by Capco and take a long-term stake within the development alongside Capco.

After extensive negotiations, TfL was able to agree a 37 per cent shareholding in the joint venture to develop the land in and around Earls Court 1&2, an outcome that was endorsed by TfL's external advisor.

Active measures were put in place to ensure that the Mayor was not put in a position where there was, or could reasonably perceived to be, a prejudicial interest when considering the planning application. In particular, I did not take part in TfL Board meetings relating to LULs land ownership in the Earls Court development.