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Earls Court anti-demolition campaigners vow to fight on

Earls Court will be demolished under the plans. File picture: PA Wire Earls Court will be demolished under the plans. File picture: PA Wire

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
2:30 PM

Campaigners opposed to the demolition of Earls Court are pressing ahead with fundraising plans to enable them to fight on against the sites redevelopment.

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Developers Capco have been given permission by Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative-run councils to knock down both parts of the historic exhibition centre and replace them with what is described as a new London district.

This would comprise 7,500 new homes, four new “urban villages”, and new shops, offices, and leisure space.

But it will also involve uprooting residents from the existing Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates.

Jonathan Rosenberg, community organiser of the Save Earls Court Campaign, said they planned to use the cash raised to blitz those affected by the council’s decision with their reasons for opposition.

They are also considering legal action.

He said: “One of the things about this campaign is how many different audiences there are (for it).

“The existence of the Earls Court exhibition centre means there is heritage and culture and an events industry, then you have the High Street and the various businesses.

“There are going to be a large number of jobs lost - we are talking about all the companies that support the shows around there.

“The money that we raise will help us get our message across and target these different groups.”

After greenlighting the plans last week, councillors maintained 12,000 permanent full-time jobs and new homes for locals will be created on the 77-acre site.

Cllr Paul Warwick, who chaired Kensington and Chelsea’s planning committee, said: “We hope that the granting of this planning application will make Earls Court a more desirable place to live with less congestion and more opportunity for work, commerce and leisure.”

But Mr Rosenberg said residents had been served an inadequate consultation and said the new high rise homes were more likely to go to foreign owners for profit.

“People don’t want to lose their homes or be shoved into flats. They don’t want to be broken up, they want their neighbours. They don’t want high rise flats.

“The decisions that have been taken are not nice. If somebody forces you out of your home against your will, it’s clearly to your detriment.”

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