London

West London social housing estates returned to council by developers

West Kensington estate Image copyright LDRS
Image caption West Kensington estate, sold to developers 11 years ago will return to council ownership

The fate of two west London housing estates facing demolition has been reversed after a deal with the property developer.

Hammersmith and Fulham council will resume ownership of West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates which had been sold 11 years ago.

The deal between the developers and the local authority ends a long residents' battle against "regeneration".

Resident Sally Taylor, 58, said she was "beyond ecstatic" at the move.

Mrs Taylor, who co-chairs the West Ken Gibbs Green Residents Association, said: "People were absolutely cheering last night, it felt like New Year's Eve. 

"Even the kids were going, 'is it true that we're really safe?' You don't appreciate that the children are really affected by this even if they don't say it."

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Residents look out onto Gibbs Green Estate

The leaseholder, who has lived in Fulham for 30 years, added: "Everyone's life has been held up for 11 years. 

"Basically we had one council that sold us, and this one has saved us. And I think it's because there's been a real change of conscience around social housing, especially after Grenfell."

The estates along North End Road are home to more than 2,000 people in 760 flats and terraced homes.

They were bought by developers Delancey from Capital and Counties (Capco) on 15 November.

Delancey will transfer the land back to Hammersmith and Fulham Council by the end of the month.

The estates formed part of the so-called Earl's Court Masterplan, a 77-acre piece of land that was sold to Capco in 2012 for £105 million.

Stretching from North End Road to Earl's Court station, and the since-demolished Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, Capco originally planned to build 7,500 homes across the Masterplan area.

Hammersmith and Fulham will pay Delancy £105m for the land; the sum it was sold for 11 years ago.

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