Thursday 15 March 2012

Update on West Ken and Gibbs Green estates

Further to yesterday's blog about the Mayor's Question time, we should clarify that the consultations for West Ken and Gibbs Green estates were indeed concluded (contrary to the previous blog). We have also managed to discover a touch more about this; the residents of those estates voted comprehensively against the knocking down of their homes for the CapCo development. The questioning by Gavron of the mayor yesterday was suggesting that Boris should do something about it, given the absolutely majority against it, but that because he owned a huge chunk of equity via the freeholds and leases, he was not going to in order that HE got a pocket full of money. This is where the suggestion of a secret deal comes in. Boris, on the other hand said  that he was being asked to comment on something at a stage that, were he to do so, would prevent him actually doing the very thing she wanted him to do. Complicated.

We still don't have the exact figures but, of those that voted, the No majority outnumbered the Yes votes "by a factor of several to one". So a big blow to Hammersmith and Fulham but there is a chance they will railroad the scheme. The mayor can, as suggested by Gavron, derail the whole thing and get CapCo to start again. Let us hope that he does so and does not risk huge criticism by kicking hundreds of people out of their homes after a resounding rejection of the bribes offered to them. Let us also hope he has got a secret deal; with Chelsea and Capco to redraw the master plan and get a stadium in there. If he were to do that there would still be planning obstacles but we should be feeling a little bit more positive now. Of course, Boris might also be coveting the CapCo dollar...but they now have a very dangerous political tightrope to walk given the results of the  consultation. 


In further (supporting) news, the GG/WK residents groups all seem to believe that the publication today of the government's proposals to allow local residents to force councils to allow them to run their own estates (see effectively sounds the death knell for LBHF's plan to incorporate the estates in the overall EC development. We shall have to wait and see but, blimey, it is getting interesting.


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