King's Cross plans are 'flawed'

Massimo.A. Allamandola suburbanstudio at
Fri May 25 00:36:15 BST 2007

About tomorroy Final Court Day in King's Cross
King's Cross plans are 'flawed'

*A proposed £2bn redevelopment of King's Cross is "flawed" because it 
lacks affordable housing, a court has heard.*

Campaigners urged the High Court to quash the plans and demolition 
consents granted by Camden Council.

John Hobson QC said the project was a "development of strategic 
importance and considerable sensitivity".

Some 1,900 homes, 20 new streets, offices, shops and restaurants are 
planned for 67 acres of former railway land in north London.

*Heritage threat*

Claimants, the King's Cross Railway Lands Group, said councillors should 
be given more time to re-think the scheme.

Their counsel, Mr Hobson, told the judicial review that his clients had 
long campaigned for a redevelopment scheme.

But he said they felt the current project proposed by developers Argent 
was flawed because of inadequate affordable housing.

He said the group also opposed the razing of "key heritage buildings", 
such as the Stanley Building North and Culross Buildings.

Camden's development control committee gave provisional consent for the 
development in March 2006.

Mr Hobson said planning officers failed to inform the committee of new 
government guidance on the definition of affordable housing.

He said it meant the 70 units in the development previously considered 
to fall in the "affordable" category no longer did so.

But Timothy Corner QC, appearing for Camden, argued there was no merit 
in the campaigners arguments.

"We cannot see how it can possibly be said that the affordable housing 
in this case was anything other than compliant with (the new Government 

The hearing is expected to finish on Friday.
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