The Earls Court Development Company has revealed plans for the £8 bn (€9 bn) transformation of a 40 acre, largely derelict site in London into a mix of housing, leisure and retail offering.
The draft masterplan ‘to bring the wonder back to Earls Court’ includes the development of up to 4,500 homes (targeting 35% affordable across all tenures), all set within a landscape-led development which aims to go beyond net zero and become a climate-positive neighbourhood.
‘Like a London jigsaw missing its final piece, this 40-acre site is perhaps Central London's most significant redevelopment opportunity,’ commented Rob Heasman, CEO of ECDC. ‘The site has an illustrious past which is a continual source of inspiration for us as we look towards the future. We want to create a place which reinstates 'wonder' in this incredible part of London.’
The aspiration is for the development to incorporate the first large scale Zero Carbon energy sharing network in the UK, enabling local people to benefit from cost effective heat networks.
The masterplan has been drafted following two years of discussion and engagement with local communities and stakeholders to understand the aspirations and priorities of those who already live and work in the area.
Only 40% of the land has buildings on it, to prioritise the streetscape and public open spaces. Landscaped piazzas, play space and public gardens at the entrances will connect through a network of pedestrianised streets and spaces to a park at the heart of the site.
Earls Court was once a global showground for investment and ingenuity but it was always a private and closed off space with ticketed entrances. In recent years it has lain derelict, the Exhibition Centres closed in 2014 and were demolished in 2015 by the previous owners. ‘Opening up the site with free access to all is a key priority,’ ECDC said.
The masterplan is expected evolve over the course of 2023 with a planning application due to be submitted by the end of the year. The first phase of development, comprising 1,300 homes, the park and east-west connections is planned to commence in 2025.