Argent property developers try to throw resident out of Kings Cross planning exhbition

Sophie_talbot Sophie Talbot was asked to leave Argent’s planning exhibition by security guards for trying to talk to the developer’s representative Bob Evans and Islington planning officials.  Sophie had gone to the exhibition in the German Gym which has a huge model of the development with a bridge over the tracks at Wharfdale Road which is unfunded by Network Rail.  Sophie has posted the below on our sister site ‘KingsCross Access‘.

‘I asked if I could show him [Bob Evans] what I was concerned about on the model, he was reluctant as several LB Islington Planning bods were about to arrive for a meeting with him. As he said that, the planning bods arrived and I asked them all if I could take two minutes of their time to share my concern – I handed them each a leaflet. From there on in it went badly wrong. Bob said I was being misleading about the bridge and the boulevard, he said he did not like the way Michael Edwards etc were dealing with the issue (Michael is a member of King’s Cross Railway Lands Group). I asked if I could talk to him about all that because it is not my intention to mislead anyone. He said, ‘not right now’ and I asked if I could make an appointment to meet with him – he gave me his card.

‘I was then approached by the security guard and a member of staff attached to the exhibition. They asked me to leave and I said I wanted to see the exhibition… long story short, eventually they let me see the exhibition – which is not just about King’s Cross Central.’

Argent says it was all a bit of a mix up.

‘We do however have an art installation upstairs as part of the London Festival of Architecture and people have been coming in, on a managed basis, to see that. So when you asked Eric (the doorman/security guard) if you could come in to see the exhibition, that is what he thought you were referring to. If there was a misunderstanding about access to the building, then I apologise.

‘I had arranged to meet some representatives from Islington Council and other organisations at the Gym for a site tour and it was those guests that you met. I freely admit that you caught them and me by surprise, and that is no doubt what you saw "in my eyes"’

Not great community engagement from the developer whose corporate ‘aim’ is: ‘To be the most respected and successful developer in the UK’.  Argent support the bridge across the tracks but don’t seem prepared to lobby Network Rail to get it built.  The exhibition is part of the London Festival of Architecture and is open 10:00 to 1530 until 20 July – link here. Go along and have a look, just don’t mention the bridge.

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in #googlebridgeKX, Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, Kings Cross Station Refurbishment, Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Argent property developers try to throw resident out of Kings Cross planning exhbition

  1. Oscar says:

    Well done (not on the getting kicked out bit,

    I too have been along to the exhibition and got some shady looks from a friendly (but nervous) old looking guy. He got quite twitchy when I pointed and joked about several buildings, that in massing alone were far from interesting, exciting, let alone relevant to their context. He looked even more concerned when i started laughing about the bridge being in the model! If argent want a bridge they should build it, they almost certainly got a very good deal in today’s terms with the cost of the site.

    As ever although there are some nice aspects to the redevelopment there are extreme weakness in the master plan. I am certain that it will be the final nail in the coffin for the large area of lost London which lies between regents park York Way. I really can’t work out who is going to use the area. There is very little residentual, and vast amounts of open space. Add the shamefull access to the area; either squeeze inbetween kings cross and st pancras, attempt to get through the dia underpass under st. pancras, assuming you can work out how to cross the road at the other end. Or come down from york way, there the designers really made an effort in making that new bridge for the eurostar so very pleasant to walk under. it is almost like they made the blind corners and narrow paths for fun. Maybe the best access will be by boat!

    There is still hope, only 15 or 20 years before it’s ready!

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