Capco and TfL Agree to Earls Court Joint Venture

Redevelopment plans mean demolition of exhibition centres

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The controversial Earls Court redevelopment has come another step closer with Capital & Counties Properties, or Capco and Transport for London agreeing a pursue proposals for joint venture to enable the "development" of Earls Court Exhibition Centres 1 & 2 in line with the Earls Court Masterplan.

In effect, this means both centres will be demolished, with CapCo saying that the centres at Olympia, which it also owns, will take over the events programme from Earls Court.

TfL owns the freehold to the exhibition centres while Capco is the current leaseholder of both sites.

In another blow to the residents of West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates, who have been fighting to save their homes from demolition as part of the redevelopment, the agreement will enable the two organisations to establish a joint entity which will own a new 999 year lease over the sites, as well as other land owned by Capco.

The plan is that ownership of the development will be split 63 per cent to Capco and 37 percent to TfL

Capco will be the exclusive development manager. The partners say this will enable a comprehensive approach to be taken for the implementation of Sir Terry Farrell’s Masterplan for the wider Earls Court and West Kensington Opportunity Area which has been approved by Mayor Boris Johnson, and which would create 7,500 homes, 12,000 jobs and new health, education, cultural and community facilities as well as 23 acres of green space including the five acre Lost River Park..

Funding for each phase of the development will be sought when it is in a position to be progressed.

Gary Yardley, Investment Director of Capco, commented: “This is a major step forward for the Earls Court Masterplan. On top of the resolution to grant planning consents, and the agreement we already have in place with LBHF, these proposals would mean that the development of Earls Court can now be progressed.”

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: ‘We are pleased to be making progress on a deal for the development of Earls Court 1 & 2 with Capco which will see the creation of much needed jobs and homes for London.

“It reflects a new approach we are taking with our extensive property portfolio to work with leading developers whilst retaining our interest in our properties.”

The agreement remains subject to approval by the Boards of Capco and TfL respectively, which is expected to be sought at a later date upon finalisation of the deal.