THE company behind the redevelopment of Earls Court has insisted the arrests of two of the scheme's major investors will not stop the project going ahead.
Brothers Thomas and Raymond Kwok were last week held on suspicion of bribery in their native Hong Kong following a swoop by anti-corruption agencies.
The brothers, who run the Sun Hung Kai Properties development, entered into a conditional agreement in December with Capco worth £65.6m for a 50:50 stake in the Seagrave Road car park, which is set to be turned into an 808-home development.
Capco refused to comment on whether the Kwoks have yet paid for their stake in the project, which was given the thumbs-up by mayor Boris Johnson last week ahead of the application being heard by Hammersmith and Fulham Council. At the time the venture was announced, Capco said the Kwok deal was subject to planning consent 'immune from challenge'.
A statement from the firm insisted the arrests wouldn't affect the deal saying: "This is an internal matter for Sun Hung Kai. Our conditional joint venture for Seagrave Road is with the family. The proposed development of Seagrave Road will go ahead as planned providing 808 high quality new homes."
Opponents say the arrests have cast more doubt on the validity of the project. West Kensington Estate resident Richard Osband, who has vociferously questioned Capco's financial ability to deliver the scheme, said: "Does Boris Johnson really want to approve a scheme like this?"
Some of new homes in Seagrave Road would be given to residents on the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates, should their properties be knocked down as part of the wider Earls Court redevelopment.
Hammersmith and Fulham Labour councillor Stephen Cowan said the arrests would add to residents' uncertainty: "There are serious questions that need to be answered about the financial viability of the whole project and what that means for the 800 households racked with anxiety about the future of their homes."
The Kwoks, who run Sun Hung Kai Properties, were held by Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption on suspicion of bribery. The investigation is reportedly the biggest since the body was set up in 1974 to root out corruption in police and government.
They are worth $18.3bn and have been responsible for some of the tallest buildings in the world, including Hong Kong's International Commerce Centre.