Government slammed over go ahead for Earls Court demolition
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Development, Housing, Local Government
Mayor of London approves controversial Earls Court redevelopment plans
The government's decision to green light the demolition of Earls Court without ordering a public enquiry has been slammed by a member of the London Assembly.
Labour's Nicky Gavron moved to condemn the decision after being informed of the go ahead by planning minister Nick Boles MP.
Boles sent Gavron a copy of a letter explaining that he does not believe the project raises issues significant enough to warrant a public inquiry.
Ms Gavron said: “This decision is a failure by the government to listen to the serious concerns of local people. It is extraordinary that the government waved this project through despite the many unanswered questions.
"This controversial redevelopment will see the loss of the iconic Earls Court exhibition space and a well-established local community."
Meanwhile, Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been celebrating the decision.
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, the council's leader, said: “This is fantastic news, ushering in a new generation of opportunity and prosperity for West London. The main beneficiaries will be people living on the estates who will receive new homes, major neighbourhood improvements and the ability to access thousands of new job opportunities.”
The council has said that the residents of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates, which are part of the 77-acre site set to demolished, will be rehoused within the new development.
The first tenants are expected to move in by 2018. Overall, 7,583 new homes are planned.
Gavron AM last month joined a cross-party group of London Assembly members calling on the government to launch a public inquiry.
According to those opposed to the scheme, the redevelopment will cost thousands of jobs in the exhibitions industry as well as in the local and national economy.
Gavron added: “I believe Nick Boles is using localism as an excuse to allow the demolition to go ahead, when in fact it is local people who want to halt the demolition.
"This is one of the largest redevelopment projects in London but any criticism has been tossed aside as the Mayor and his local authority partners ploughed it through the planning process. A project of this scale that impacts on London’s economy and mixed communities deserves proper scrutiny, but the government has failed to do so.”
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