In Pictures: New Earls Court masterplan unveiled


Developers reveal plans to deliver up to 4,500 homes and vast city park on long-neglected 40-acre site in Zone 1.

The draft masterplan for the redevelopment of Earls Court has been revealed, detailing plans for up to 4,500 new homes and a vast park, larger than Trafalgar Square.

The Earls Court Development Company is promising to “bring the wonder back” to the long-neglected, largely derelict 40-acre site in Zone 1 – which straddles RBKC and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Two years in the making, the new plans aims to create a “landscape-led development which aims to go beyond net zero and become a climate-positive neighbourhood”, incorporating the first large-scale zero carbon energy sharing network in the UK.

Only 40% of the land has buildings on it, and the vision includes landscaped piazzas, play space and public gardens, connected to the central “Table” park on the site of the former Exhibition Centre structure.

35% of the new homes will be classified as affordable and the development team says up to 15,000 jobs will be created as the area morphs into a “research and development hub for green tech”.

A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of the year, and the first phase of development (involving 1,300 homes, the park and vital east-west connections) is slated to kick off in 2025.

The vast site – described as central London’s most significant redevelopment opp – was bought off previous owners CapCo in 2019; the Exhibition Centres closed their doors for the last time in 2014 and were demolished in 2015.

The design team includes three Stirling Prize-winning practices.

Hawkins Brown & Studio Egret West are jointly developing the masterplan, with SLA in charge of the public realm. The Phase One architects are Sheppard Robson with Serie Architects and dRMM.

Haworth Tompkins and Maccreanor Lavington will be collaborating  on the first homes in Kensington & Chelsea, along with a “significant cultural offer” at the heart of the site.

Rob Heasman, CEO of ECDC: “Like a London jigsaw missing its final piece, this 40-acre site is perhaps Central London’s most significant redevelopment opportunity. The site has an illustrious past which is a continual source of inspiration for us as we look towards the future.

“We want to create a place which reinstates ‘wonder’ in this incredible part of London. We will help to create a more inclusive and equitable piece of city with homes for all incomes and stages of life, and thousands of jobs from training to start up to scale up. The development will integrate culture and public realm throughout, responding to the number one stated desire from local people; to have green and open spaces across the site. We have an ambition to be a global exemplar of responsible, sustainable development, putting people’s health and well-being first.”

Further Reading
Images via ECDC

Main image: The 2022 masterplan