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Report: CapCo's Earls Court scheme faces yet another legal challenge

'sEarls Court redevelopment scheme in west London continues to face oppositionfrom local residents.

Property Week reported April 11 that a residentof West Kensington submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission,alleging EU state aid rules violations in a land deal for the scheme. Theprevious administration of Hammersmith & Fulham council inked a £90 millioncontract for 22 acres of land in the Kensington West and Gibbs Green estates,which the complaint claims was "way below" the open market value.

Accordingto an earlier report,the issue has some local political dynamics, as the Conservative administrationof the time gave its blessingthe scheme, but the Labour Party that later came to power in 2014 appeared tobe advocating for the local residents. The council's decision to include theWest Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the Earls Court scheme also facedunsuccessfullegal throughout 2013, asreported previously. The main point of contention appears to be the demolitionof some 760 homes in West Kensington and Cibbs Green, as well as complaintsfrom local residents that they were not consulted during the planning phase,according to a reportfrom August 2015.

Thepublication said a consultant's analysis estimated the amount of state aid tobe around £1.5 billion, calculated using figures the company published in itsannual results, whichreflected an approximately £1.27 billion profit valuation on a similar-sizedarea of adjacent land.

ACapCo spokeswoman told PW that thecontract for the land deal in Kensington West and Gibbs Green estates is "entirelyproper and robust" as the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham inkedit "freely" and with independent professional advice. She added thatthe masterplan is "consented, progressing well and remains unaffected."

Morerecently, London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan criticized the scheme for "containing not a singleadditional unit of social housing" in its plans, while other candidatesalso pledged to review the masterplan if elected.