Paul Marinko 19 November 2019

Council to buy back estates from developer

Hammersmith and Fulham LBC is to take back ownership of two housing estates 12 years after they were sold off by a previous administration.

The authority’s Labour leader, Stephen Cowan, has revealed ownership of the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates is to pass back to the council following the former Conservative administration’s decision to sell them off in 2012 for £105m.

Both estates, which will now be saved, formed part of a huge housing scheme for Earls Court, originally drawn up in 2007, which has already involved the bulldozing of the exhibition centre.

Residents of the 760 flats on the estates were to be offered replacement homes in the new development but the original buyer - property firm Capital & Counties (Capco) - announced last week it was selling the development to developers APG and Delancey.

Now the Labour administration, which has been in control of the authority since 2014, has reached an agreement with Delancey to take back the estates in exchange for £89.6m – the sum of the original £105m deal so far paid by Capco – once the deal between the property firms is completed.

Cllr Cowan said the original agreement had been a ‘dreadful deal,’ adding: ‘This has been a very long and hard fight.

‘The residents have been through huge stress and anxiety, and I’m delighted for them that we have been able to bring it to a very successful conclusion.’

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