Greenhalgh tries to scupper tenant’s plans in West Kensington

I found this interesting blog from the Guardian’s  Dave Hill. Recently the residents of West Kensington and Gibbs Green have been trying to apply for a stock transfer, which would thwart LBHF’s attempt to demolish their homes in the proposed redevelopment of the area around the Earl’s Court exhibition centre.

Earls Court redevelopment: Stephen Greenhalgh asks for ‘wider benefit tests’ to limit tenants’ power

From Inside Housing:

A flagship Conservative council has asked ministers to water down proposals to give tenants the right to take over the ownership of their estates, so that a major redevelopment project can go ahead.

You’ll have guessed that said flagship is Hammersmith and Fulham and that the “major redevelopment project” is the Earls Court project – the one that will involve the demolition of the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates unless residents groups are able to make use of that proposed right to take ownership by way of a “stock transfer” under Section 34A of the 1985 Housing Act. I’ve written about the saga here, here and elsewhere.

Section 34A was introduced by the last government, but did not come into force because the necessary accompanying regulations were not put in place. The present government intends to complete the job in line with its localism agenda. Inside Housing continues:

A response to a request from Inside Housing under the Freedom of Information Act revealed Stephen Greenhalgh, council leader at Hammersmith & Fulham, emailed CLG ministers Greg Clark and Grant Shapps in January to ask that tests be applied before tenant-led transfers are approved in regeneration areas.

The email read: “We believe it is wrong to allow regulations on stock transfer to apply without these wider benefit tests in these ‘opportunity areas’ as an unintended consequence could be to impede regeneration in those very areas already defined as needing major economic growths, jobs and homes.”

Read on

On another, related note, I have noticed that the council’s development ‘partner’ EC Harris, who are associated with Toby Young’s Free School, have moved into offices next to the Town Hall.  Highly symbolic.

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