Tuesday 23 October 2012

Earls Court in more stormy water...

We at CFCTruth have to admire the doggedness of the residents of the West Ken and Gibbs Green Estates whose homes are critical to the CapCo/LBHF Earls Court master plan. Recent successes include winning the right to a High Court hearing which has delayed the development's commencement until next year. Now they have got the council to buckle on the claims over alleged dodgy dealings with respect to "bribes" and promised homes in return for support. Having fervently denied any such activity, the council have appointed Deloittes to investigate the matter. You can read more on the link;


We also noted in a residents newsletter that there are further legal challenges on the way. We quote;

"Judgement that our case shall be heard in the High Court has caused Kensington & Chelsea Council to delay their consideration of the scheme. In turn, the Mayor's decision is delayed. If we win the hearing next year, the whole scheme could be declared unlawful.We're not relying on just one High Court action to wreck this scheme.We're working with several legal firms to prepare more legal challenges, which are far greater in scale and involve vast expense. Our Solicitors and Barristers have advised us that our High Court actions will prove deadly. "

Of course, if this scheme as it stands is wrecked, this in no way means that CFC are guaranteed a crack at it. But we would be very surprised if CapCo were not, as we speak, working up their options should the residents be triumphant. They might even have already been on the phone to the club....

Thursday 11 October 2012

High Court ahoy

Those admirably dogged residents of West Ken and Gibbs Green estates won a significant victory last night when a judge granted them permission to take the Earl's Court development to the High Court. 

This means nothing in isolation of course (they still have to win their case) but being given the permission, with the judge clearly thinking a challenge was legitimate, means some serious rethinking of the whole project may be necessary. With the twin pronged attack by the residents also challenging the government to stand by their claims for the Big Society, we predicted that the granting of outline permission would not be the end of this affair. Now the matter is in the High Court it is naturally difficult to predict outcomes but the residents have put together a very strong case which features some fairly serious allegations against the council. The possibility that the residents may win should be haunting the council and the developers, CapCo. If a High Court judge rules that the estates should be protected, the whole master-plan will require redrawing and the council will lose out on £100 million from the conditional land sale (and, they would claim, lots of new housing). They may also have to repay CapCo the upfront fifteen mill the developer coughed up although this is not clear.

It has long been our assertion that the approach and strategy of the council towards CFC and Stamford Bridge was questionable. Hopefully, those who chose to believe their claims will be starting to see how high the stakes have been for them.