Greetings from the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates!
We have been campaigning since 2009 to save our homes from being demolished to make way for thousands of luxury flats. The Council made a deal with developer Capco to destroy our estates, the Lillie Bidge Depot, which is the main engineering facility for the London Underground, and the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centres.
This monstrous £12 billion scheme would replace a much used and loved piece of London with 7,500 flats. 80% of these would be sold at market prices with one bed flats starting at £600,000. 10% of the new homes would replace the estates. A further 10% will be so-called affordable housing. The number of ‘affordable’ homes is woefully inadequate and they won’t be affordable because the flats for rent would be let at 80% of market value.
Check our Photos page for the latest pictures of us and our homes. You can find our latest newsletters and other documents on our Newsletters and Info page. Our Media Coverage page has links to the latest articles about the estates and our campaign.
West Kensington and Gibbs Green are two adjacent estates in West Kensington, W14, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. The estates contain 761 homes and close to 2,000 residents.
Residents from two thirds of households are members of West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes Limited (WKGGCH), the company set up by residents to take over the ownership of their estates. The Members have elected a Board which is made up of 14 residents and 4 housing experts. The Board meets every couple of months to progress its founding aim, which is to improve the neighbourhood and save the estates by transferring them into community ownership under resident control.
On 8 December 2009, the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Tenants & Residents Associations served a S34A Notice on the Chief Executive of Hammersmith & Fulham Council proposing their estates be transferred to a resident-control community housing association.
In January 2010, residents wrote to the then Secretary of State inviting him to make the regulations needed for him to have the power under S34A to require local authorities to cooperate with transfer requests.
In December 2013, after years of lobbying, the Coalition Government implemented the Right to Transfer by making the Regulations and publishing the Guidance.
In May 2014 the Conservative administration was toppled. The Labour administration’s manifesto stated:
We oppose the schemes for West Kensington and Gibbs Green. We aim to renegotiate these and halt the use of Council powers such as Compulsory Purchase Orders on any of them.
… take immediate measures to protect council homes now and in the future.
We will work with council housing residents to give them ownership of the land their homes are on.
WKGGCH’S VISION IS TO:
- Preserve, improve, manage and provide affordable rented housing for local people and others in need of low-rented housing;
- Prevent the break-up and displacement of an existing well-functioning community;
- Save around 100 private tenant households, including many families with children, from being made homeless;
- Build additional affordable housing and other development sensitively, for the benefit of the community, over time, and according to the needs and wishes of residents;
- Develop community facilities, provide services, and work with like-minded local agencies to support individuals, build social and family ties, grow community life, and cultivate the talents and spirit of young residents;
- Nurture a happy, secure and self-supporting neighbourhood that governs itself through a democratically accountable landlord and acts for the welfare of the whole community;
- Open the way for council estate communities across England and Wales to take charge of their neighbourhoods through S34A of the 1985 Housing Act using the tried and tested community-based housing association ownership model as per WECH.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation granted a sum of £75,000 to West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes for three years from 2012 to empower residents to explore the implementation of Section 34A of the 1985 Housing Act, its implications and learning for the wider sector. To find out more about the Foundation, please visit their website here.
To get in touch with us, please contact West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Organiser Jonathan Rosenberg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his mobile at 07961 301 801.