Capital & Counties Properties (aka Capco) is aiming to build an extra 2,500 new homes on its 77-acre Earls Court site, taking the total to 10,000 as the development reaches “a significant set of milestones” – including an end to demolition works.
Alongside completion of two years-worth of knocking down the old exhibition centres, enabling works proper have now started and the first new residents are moving into their new homes at Lillie Square (part of Sir Terry Farrell’s 10.1 million square foot masterplan for the area). Capco’s also brought in the biggest crane ever to be used in London; the 110-metre high “Heavy Lifting Crane” (the same size as West London’s tallest building, the Empress State), in order to lift portal beams out from over the London Underground lines that run under the former exhibition centre site.
This on-site activity comes as the firm declares “a new ambition” to deliver an extra 2,500 homes – on top of the 7,500 already consented – as part of representations to the Mayor’s London Plan consultation. Sadiq Khan promised to review the Earls Court plans before his election, flagging concerns about affordable housing provisions (1,500 of the 7,500). The new representations submitted “signal how the site could accommodate up to 10,000 homes, additional affordable housing levels and a greater diversity of housing types”.
The former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site is being brought forward by Earls Court Partnership Limited, a joint venture owned 63% by Capco and 37% by Transport for London. Farrell’s masterplan, consented in 2013, aims to create “Four new Urban Villages and a 21st Century High Street”. The scheme is expected to take between 15 and 20 years to complete.
The first new residents are now moving into their new homes at Lillie Square, the first chapter of the Earls Court Masterplan. The development of 808 homes – including 200 affordable homes that are under construction – has been designed around new garden squares designed by Andy Sturgeon, the winner of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Gary Yardley, Chief Investment Officer, Capco: “Earls Court is the most important regeneration site in London and the last two years have seen significant investment and remarkable progress. The demolition of the exhibition centres is complete and our first residents of Lillie Square can now call Earls Court home. We would like to thank local people for their ongoing support during the works as we bring forward our plans to deliver new homes, jobs and a thriving part of London.
“We now move into a new chapter at Earls Court as the Heavy Lifting Crane is installed to allow the all-important site preparation work to take place. The progress and momentum continues and we look forward to working with our partners Transport for London and other stakeholders to discuss how the Masterplan can grow and evolve in line with London’s needs.”