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West Ken & Gibbs Green: "£12 billion Earl’s Court scheme value hidden to avoid affordable housing"

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"After nearly two years of fighting to get the viability assessment of the Earl’s Court scheme, Capco and Kensington & Chelsea finally gave in to the Information Commissioner’s demand that the report be released. The Councils and the developer had good reason to keep the assessment produced by DVS secret. The scheme is not worth £8 billion, but £12 billion – and that was in September 2012. So imagine what it’s worth now!

"Amazingly the DVS review showed that the scheme was not viable on the basis of Capco’s assumptions, a reason in itself not to approve the scheme. But it was also critical of Capco’s reluctance to co-operate with the assessment. Throughout their review, DVS questioned the calculations and methodologies that were used to justify 11% of so called 'affordable' housing.

"In their defence, Capco claims that 'the DVS had full access to all relevant Capco information'. But this is not true. The DVS report cites 23 separate issues on which information or evidence required was not supplied or clarity was not provided on how sums were calculated. It refers to 'queries that remain unanswered' (benchmark land values), and information requested that 'has not been forthcoming' (income in respect of land surrounding Empress State)."

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