KX a model of good practice

Kx 'Public life in private hands: Managing London's public space'  has just been published. It's the report of the Greater London Assembly's Planning and Housing Committee. Since October of last year the committee has been reviewing the Mayor’s role in influencing the quality and accessibility of London’s public spaces through planning policy and other measures. King's Cross welcomed committee members to the area in December when they experienced the impact of the station redevelopment on access to the land owned by Network Rail and viewed the KX Central exhibition at the German Gym.

King's Cross is mentioned throughout as a model of good practice where the 'active early community consultation on development proposals, particularly where they include open space or other public space, … vital to a successful outcome for public space management' has been achieved and should be replicated by other developments across the capital.

What do you think? We'd be interested to hear your reactions to the new report and to the quality of public access to the privately owned land in KX.



About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. http://www.cookiewp.com She also manages King's Cross Community Projects http://www.kccp.org.uk
This entry was posted in Kings Cross N1C, railwayslands, Kings Cross Station Refurbishment, Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to KX a model of good practice

  1. susanne griffin says:

    As a resident in the area, I would like to state that I view the situation completely differently. Some time ago, Mr Jerry Swift of Network Rail, said to me that the organisation, in relation to the KX station redevelopment were , according to government regulations not in a position to enter into active dialogue and negotiation with residentsand local communities. This was in relation to trying to bridge the community access severance caused by the 3 mainline stations east-west for local residents in Camden and Islington.

  2. sean says:

    It’s April the 1st right?

  3. Dan Stone says:

    I guess it is fashionable to be grumpy about the redevelopment of Kings Cross, and I’m certainly not completely happy with it. In particular I think the York Way situation and the failure to provide a pedestrian bridge represent significantly callous behaviour towards the community. I’m sure there are many other examples as well.

    But overall my view is not as negative as many that I see on this site from time to time or encounter in the community. In particular, when I compare Kings Cross Central to Canary Wharf I am grateful that we have not ended up with the private estate model, which is offensive and hostile to the residents of the surrounding community, and I am looking forward to usingthe new public spaces. I also think that the plan to reopen the plaza area in front of the station will (if executed!) improve the quality of life for all of us who live in the area.

    In summary I would say that billions of pounds of private and public money are being invested, certainly much of it for the benefit of the private investors, but with some reasonable array of benefits accruing to the local community. Perhaps we could have done better, but I think we also could have done a lot worse.

  4. Tony Rees says:

    The re-organisation of King’s Cross station will mean that the station is no longer acessible to the public unless they have a ticket. It will cease to be a public space like St Pancras station. How has that improved quality and accessibility?

  5. sean says:

    Hi Dan, I am (I hope) very positive about the regen of King’s Cross but the post is about how well we’ve been consulted. Your example of York Way is spot on – We were consulted with 2 options – neither of which met expectations but were better than no improvements, only to find the key elements of either option are unlikely to happen :- a controlled crossing and single lane traffic. This consultation failed. We have an explanation from Camden on how this happened but to then read KX is a model for community consultation suggests the authors have little on the ground understanding.

  6. Dan Stone says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I have been assuming that the new concourse will be accessible to the public in the same way that the old concourse is now. Have I misunderstood the plan for the station?

    Also, my take on the “Public Space in . . .” paper is that it is discussing Kings Cross Central, not the station.



  7. Dan Stone says:

    Hi Sean,

    You and I seem to be in complete agreement on the York Way question.

    As for what the post is about, the author said: “We’d be interested to hear your reactions to the new report and to the quality of public access to the privately owned land in KX.” I believe my comment is on-topic.


  8. James says:

    King’s Cross station won’t cease to be a public space. The new western concourse will be open to anyone as you can see from the animation here which shows the ticket barriers at the back: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/6288.aspx

  9. Ian says:

    The new development may or may not turn out to be successful. Certainly things around Kings X have improved. But all of that is a separate question to the issue of consultation. There have been PR gestures towards consultation and local communities, but any of the small improvements that have resulted have only been because of the persistence of local groups who have had to fight every inch of the way. I don’t see any evidence of real consultation, or incorporation of local communities wishes or suggestions. This is a massive corporate development and as usual a few crumbs are tossed our way and the rest is ignored. I think the issue of public space may be a real one, although time will tell. I personally find some of the design, such as the Sainsbury block utterly devoid of merit or contribution to the area. I am glad the area is being redeveloped but I feel remote from the whole thing, and don’t feel the planners and corporates really could care less about the surrounding community – in fact I think they are woefully ignorant that there is one.

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