So tonight, Hammersmith and Fulham planning committee make a decision on the Seagrave Road element of the EC development. This phase is to build 800 odd homes, 200 of which will be social housing for Hammersmith and Fulham tenants.
We know that Chelsea are attempting to "block" the plans on the grounds that they do not include a cultural or sporting facility (see our previous blog). Blocking Seagrave Road is not a priority...but it is part of the overall plan..this is not about Seagrave Road precisely - the objection is there to make a point about the whole CapCo masterplan for EC. Seagrave Road is necessary for the council to house residents from West Ken and Gibbs Green which they hope to flog off for a tidy sum so one imagines they will give the development the go ahead. None of this is very honourable, like most planning. However, those two estates who the council want to bulldoze out of their homes are still in (extended) consultation and resisting... If the estates do not give the go ahead and the 200 homes are not needed to relocate estate residents Capco will have the flexibility to offer the homes as 'intermediate tenure'. They don't lose on this one. But the loss of West Ken and GG certainly changes things in relation to the masterplan if it were to occur and that is when Chelsea would have a chance.
We are not entirely sure whether the club will have their advisor CBRE in attendance; clearly the council officers who are recommending the plans will carry influence but much will depend on how strong a case Chelsea have legally (and how many boozy lunches they have had with Boris recently) when it comes to the councillors.
Let us hope that they throw everything they have at the planning committee and hope for some joy. For all the reasons we have spoken about recently, the council will, one might expect, resist.....Seagrave Road being given the go ahead is not the end of the world for CFC - the club favour a site at the North End of the development area - but it would help because the point would have been made about the planing guidelines that the club wish to see adjusted