Earls Court property developer Capital and Counties (CapCo) claims its agreement to acquire London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF)’s land within the site is expected within months.
In an interim management statement for 1 January to 15 May 2012, CapCo confirmed the two parties expect to enter into an agreement at a full Cabinet meeting in coming months. This will be based on a Conditional Land Sale Agreement published in April and approved at LBHF’s public meeting on 23 April.
CapCo and LBHF entered a one-year exclusivity agreement for redevelopment of the Earls Court site last July. The developer has the right to terminate the deal if a land purchase arrangement is not entered into by July 2012, suggesting the sale could be confirmed by then.
The latest updatecomes just over a month after LBHF and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea approved CapCo’s Supplementary Planning Document, the basis for Sir Terry Farrell’s Earls Court redevelopment masterplan. The plans will see the two Earls Court exhibition centres demolished in favour of four residential and commercial villages encompassing 7,500 homes.
CapCo’smanagement statement also revealed calls for a judicial review of its one-year exclusivity agreement with LBHF in July last year have been dropped, removing another potential obstacle.
The legal action was launched last November by residents from the West Kensington and Green Gibbs Estates, whose homes will be demolished and replaced as part of the regeneration plan. The group had claimed the exclusivity agreement denied residents an appropriate public process and failed to consider alternative options for the site.
A spokesperson for the residents group told EN it expected to make an announcement on its ongoing legal action in due course.
Across other business, Earls Court and Olympia Venues (EC&O) performed in line with expectations, despite a reduction in business at Earls Court. Commercial highlights over the last five months included a 25 per cent increase in average visitor spend at this year’s Ideal Home Show in March, as well as a strong performance by Top Drawer in January.
CapCo reported 92.2 per cent of its 2012 budgeted licence fees are currently contracted. The firm has repaid an outstanding £89.5m debt bill on EC&O’s balance sheet out of cash and available facilities.
“Further improvement works are under way at Olympia Two and the conference centre as part of the ongoing strategy to enhance the Olympia venue and create more flexible space,” CapCo added.
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