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Earls Court: West London Tory councillors vote for contentious demolition

Angry residents protest outside Kensington and Chelsea planning meeting

Tories on Kensington and Chelsea’s planning committee have narrowly voted through Earls Court demolition plans, paving the way for a massive development of luxury flats in place of social housing.

Angry residents and campaigners protested outside the local planning meeting on Thursday night urging their elected councillors to block the “demolition and waste-management plan” which lays out the nitty gritty of how Capco’s £8 billion redevelopment will be carried out.

The planning application for the development, which will demolish much-needed council homes on two estates to make room for 7,500 luxury flats, has already been granted by the two councils involved and approved by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Earls Court ward councillor Linda Wade, who chairs the Earls Court Area Action Group, said there is nothing in the 108-page document that addresses members’ concerns about asbestos in the buildings, the effect on traffic and the cumulative impact of six years of noise caused by the development, among many other things.

Despite this, five Tory councillors sitting on the planning committee voted through the plan, marginally defeating four Labour councillors who voted against, according to Ms Wade. One abstained, two declared an interest and two did not attend.

“It’s like the emperor’s new clothes,” she told the Star. “The planning process has shown that, ultimately, the very wealthy always get what they want.”

But because the development encompasses two boroughs, the same document will also have to be passed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, recently recaptured by Labour.

Campaigners hope the new council will block the demolition and waste-management plan at its planning committee in October.

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