From Kings Cross Resident Ariane Schick.
Britannia Street Parking Lot (planning application 2013/0592/P)
On 17 May 2013 I received a planning application consultation from Camden Council concerning a plot of land between 13 Britannia Street and 146 Wicklow Street, just south of Kings Cross (map – street view). The plot of land is currently used as a parking lot. Although I think a change of use on the plot, currently looking quite derelict, is a good thing, upon reading the proposal I quickly realised this proposal was far from a change for the better.
The plot is set within the Kings Cross/St Pancras Conservation area (adopted in December 2003) and the proposal is for, among other things a Class C1 hotel (a hotel or hostel where not significant element of care is provided). The initial proposal includes the demolition of a period boundary brick wall and period vent shaft inside a conservation area.
ANOTHER TALL BUILDING PROPOSAL: The highest building on the street at present is five floors, the proposal is for a seven storey building. This height will not respect the architectural harmony of the street. The proposal describes a “part two, part three and part five, six and seven story” which sounds complicated and not in keeping with the architectural integrity of the neighbourhood and street.
The proposal of a class C1 hotel will most likely become a youth hostel, the building will surely not focus on quality or architectural merit and I believe will harm what is at present a beautiful balanced street with real personality and character.
The proposal of the a building as high as seven storeys will not only have a very negative impact on the aesthetics of the area but also heavily impact the quality of life for the residents, radically reducing even blocking sunlight and causing a real loss of privacy for many inhabitants.
HOW MANY MORE? The Kings Cross neighbourhood has a disproportionate number of hotels, this is particularly true in the area around Britannia/Wicklow Street. In close proximity to the proposed C1 hotel there are already a vast number of hotels, including two of the biggest youth hostels in London; Clink and Travel Lodge, who both have two sites in the close by. A certain number of hotels and hostels can be a good thing for commerce for example but more hostels is not a business that needs further encouragement in the area. Yet another hotel in an already saturated area simply pushes the neighbourhood into becoming a mere place of transit for tourists rather than a real community of permanent residents.
In sum South Kings Cross is a densely populated area with a lot of human and car traffic and few parks. I think that rather than the plot of land being allocated to build yet another class C1 hostel the council should push for this plot of land to be turned into a much needed park or community allotment. I have noticed that aside for the space being used as a car park, local residents already use this land as a park of sorts, walking their dogs for example, this strengthens my belief not only that there is a need for a small green area on that plot.
PLEASE HELP TAKING ACTION: If you feel you might be affected by this planning application or feel motivated by the idea of supporting the creation of another green area in the Kings Cross area, please feel free to contact our FaceBook community page – called “Britannia/Wicklow Street Plot” it can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BritanniaWicklowStreetPlot?fref=ts
I will be adding photos and maps etc. as well as details on the planning application.
Also you can leave some comments here which I will pick up and respond to!
William adds – the consultation ends on 7 June 2013 – you can give your views to the council at this link