West Kensington and Gibbs Green residents have been out protesting against the demolition of our homes on two consecutive Saturdays. On 31 January we joined the March for Homes from Shoreditch to City Hall. Over two thousand people called on Mayor Boris Johnson to stop demolishing council estates and to build more housing that is genuinely affordable.
There is widespread anger at the number and scale of developments across London which are replacing buildings of character and workplaces with luxury flats bought by buy-to-leave investors. Dubbed ‘safety deposit boxes in the sky’, these destructive schemes enrich a few at the expense of the many, worsening London’s housing crisis.On 7 February residents of the estates and supporters of the Earl’s Court Area Action Group joined together in a protest against the demolition of the Exhibition Centres and in support of saving West Kensington and Gibbs Green. 70 people called on developer Capco to stop tearing the heart out of London. Not a single home out of the 1,314 to be built on the site of the Exhibition Centres will be affordable. One bedroom flats sold off plan in the ‘Lillie Square’ development are already reselling for £800,000.
We then staged a “die-in” in Empress Place, opposite the Capco showroom, to highlight the concerns about asbestos being released from the demolition, as well as poor air quality, noise, vibration and dust. Some supporters were dressed in “hazard” suits and wore facemasks.Our protest ended outside the Lillie Bridge depot which is also up for demolition as part of the “Masterplan”.