New Council to Review Major Developments Across Borough

Leader elect Stephen Cowan "concerned about lack of affordable housing"

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The new Labour administration at Hammersmith and Fulham Council is to review developments across the borough worth a total of almost £10 billion.

Leader elect Stephen Cowan has highlighted three flagship projects which were approved off by the former Tory administration which he says do not provide enough affordable housing.

They are the £8 billion regeneration of Earl’s Court, a £1 billion redevelopment of the former BBC Television Centre in White City and the £200 million reconstruction of the Riverside Studios near Hammersmith Bridge.

Mr Cowan, who is set to be sworn in as council leader on June 16, told the Evening Standard: " At the very least we’d like to see large aspects of it amended and expect those we negotiate with to respect our democratic mandate.

" On all the schemes that we are looking at in Hammersmith and Fulham we’re concerned about the lack of affordable housing."

The move comes as Mayor Boris Johnson faces criticism over his approval for the planned extension to Westfield, which would provide only 162 affordable homes out of a total of

These plans were already reviewed by the previous administration at H & F Council.

The incoming council is also reviewing a plan to close Sulivan Primary School in Fulham, saying its new housing policy, placing a greater emphasis on the need for new affordable homes to rent could have a particular impact on the South Fulham Riverside development where 1,000 extra homes are being built.

In the run-up to the local election on May 22, Labour’s manifesto accused the Conservatives of approving "vastly more investment homes for overseas property speculators than homes for local people to live in".

It said the party "opposed" a number of proposals, including the planned demolition of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates as part of the Earl’s Court scheme. But the local authority can only influence one third of the 77-acre Earl’s Court site — the rest is owned by TfL and developer Capco.

A spokesman for Capco said the scheme had "broad support, and planning approvals and agreements are in place". He added: " We are committed to providing new homes to replace those on the estates."

Mr Cowan told the Standard: "Time will tell, but we will follow due process and work towards the objectives that the public elected us to work towards."

June 5, 2014