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.