Why Earls Court?
London is growing. Its population is predicted to increase by nearly a million in the next 15 years, and by 2016 the city will need 400,000 new jobs and 600,000 new homes. The Earls Court Project would create prosperity and a broad range of housing for locals and Londoners.
A rare opportunity
In recent years, development in the capital has been concentrated in East London, particularly thanks to the Olympics in Stratford. West London also needs investment and there are no other potential sites on the scale of the Earls Court Project in the area.
Planning any urban development is a long and complex process and many possible sites simply aren’t feasible as they aren’t connected to London’s transport networks.The Earls Court Project Area is unique as it already has excellent, existing transport links including three Underground stations, one Overground station and six bus routes.
According to research undertaken by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, unemployment in the Earls Court Project Area is currently double the national average. We’d like to change that.
The Earls Court Project will be mainly residential, but we plan to include state-of-the-art new work space in the development which will attract a range of new and existing businesses from the centre of the city. We would insist that new businesses in the area, construction companies and the restaurants, clubs, shops and cultural facilities we’ve included in the masterplan would have to hire local residents for a percentage of certain types of positions. We’d also like to introduce training programmes for local people.
Future housing needs
To avoid a housing crisis, the Mayor’s London Plan has given every London borough housing targets to reach by 2026. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham need to build 19,000 homes between them in the next 16 years. Both boroughs have recognised the huge potential of the Earls Court Project to provide a significant number of new homes.
Sustainability will be key to the mix of new housing included in the Earls Court Project. As residents start families we’d like them to be able to afford to move into a bigger house in the area. And when their children leave home, they can down-size into a smaller one near to their friends and local community. We’ll also be including housing for the increasing number of people who choose to live on their own, and as we tend to live longer, there will be homes for the over-60s with easy access to medical facilities.
Re-housing local residents
All the residents of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates will be offered homes within the Earls Court Project Area or in the immediate area, and the community will be kept together. Details are currently being discussed between the residents of the estates and Hammersmith & Fulham Council.