Development Forum set to meet – community gains from N1C on agenda

N1CKing’s Cross Development Forum was set up in 2002 by Camden Council in association with Islington Council to be a key means by which our local community can give our views on the massive King’s Cross Central development taking place immediately north of King’s Cross station. The Forum is now fully independent of the council and is run voluntarily by members of our community. The Forum will meet on 12 February at Committee Room One of Camden Town Hall at 7pm.

At the meeting the Forum will hear from Argent, the development company for King’s Cross Central, about the plans for the German Gymnasium between the rear of St Pancras and King’s Cross stations. King’s Cross Central is privately owned by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership. The meeting will also be updated on the next steps for development as a whole and on the Section 106 Agreement (community gains).

Community gains

Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act is used to specify what community gains the planning authority (in this case Camden Council) requires of a property developer. S106 is used to make an otherwise unacceptable planning application acceptable to a planning authority.

The S106 agreement for the King’s Cross Central development has been controversial.  Such agreements tend to be site specific, mitigating against the inconvenience faced by local communities during large scale building works. In this case the closest community is majorly in Islington not Camden, yet Camden is receiving the lion’s share of the King’s Cross Central S106 gains.

The S106 agreement for King’s Cross Central requires Argent to fund a host of elements either fully or partially, including:

  • Bicycle storage
  • Camley Street Natural Park (a London Wildlife Trust oasis of green behind St Pancras station)
  • Community meeting facilities
  • King’s Cross Construction Training Centre (on York Way at the far north of the King’s Cross Central site)
  • An indoor sports hall
  • A leisure facility
  • A police office
  • A health care walk in centre
  • Skills and recruitment centre
  • A children’s centre
  • A primary school
  • A credit Union/community development finance initiative
  • King’s Cross Business Forum
  • An academy for public realm management
  • Camley Street paving and lighting
  • Better connections between Camley Street and Agar Grove
  • Streetscape improvements to Vale Royal, Bingfield New Quarter and the Bemerton Action Area
  • Safe routes to school for Copenhagen Primary School and Blessed Sacrament Primary School
  • Wharfdale Road enhancements
  • Improvements to Purchase Street green spaces
  • Step free access from Camley Street to St Pancras Gardens
  • Public art
  • Water features
  • Environmental Health Officer costs for Camden Council

More details about King’s Cross Development Forum, including how to join, and about the meeting are available on their website.

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 Architecture, Big developments, Community groups, Community stuff, Kings Cross N1C, railwayslands, Local issues, New, Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Development Forum set to meet – community gains from N1C on agenda

  1. Did anyone go here? I was meaning to go but forgot the date and now just realised it was yesterday!

    I specifically want to know whether the new Camden Leisure Centre will be offered at a reduced price to Islington residents who border the redevelopment. To me this is fair since we have had to deal with years (myself lived here 9yrs) of basically living in a construction site and I am very concerned that key benefits have been made available solely to Camden and Camden residents – most of whom don’t even live in the area. Where were they when the prozzies and drug dealers would hang around..they never would have stepped in the area! AFAIK, out of borough residents always pay a higher rate as I already experienced with Camden with their Covent Garden Oasis Leisure Centre.

  2. I was wondering if someone could assist me. I am going to contact Camden Council regarding reduced price access to the new Leisure Centre for Islington residents that border the development area and have seen the costs of this from the Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act (S106) document for King’s Cross Central:

    http://kxdf.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/extracts-from-the-section-106-agreement-for-king_s-cross-central.pdf

    An indoor sports hall: £1,485,000
    A leisure facility: £3,927,000

    The total cost of the Facilities (including the rest) are £11,283,150.

    In the rest of the S106 it states how much contribution they will get from the developer (Argent) based on conditions. I have calculated a (rough) total, but I’m sure I may be out by at least £1-2million as I am just a layman, but £1-2m is not really significant since it’s still way more than it costs for the Facilities: £22,328,000.

    This means to me that they are getting the Facilities paid for by Argent in total but that Camden Council tenants from outside of Kings Cross (i.e. most of them) will be able to enjoy the Leisure facilities at a reduced cost compared to Islington tenants that are much closer and have had to endure the years of disruption and living in a construction site.

    I feel this is hugely unfair since Argent is evidently paying for it all so why should Camden be allowed to reap the rewards for themselves. Aside from the crappy Cally pool, which I believe has a next to useless gym and a dirty pool (if you read the online reviews), Islington do not have a decent local leisure centre and the only one I know is the main George Sobell one in Finsbury Park which would be too inconvenient for most Islington residents.

    Can anyone please let me know if there is somewhere appropriate where I should enquire as the Camden Council website is a load of shite. Try finding how to contact any department and you will be sent in a circle and given irrelevant links. There are no email addresses on the site neither is there an emaiil form. It seems the only way is to phone them, which I will do, but then they can just fob me off as I’m not a Camden resident and they don’t have to go out of their way to help me.

    Try for yourselves: http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/leisure/leisure-contacts/

    For a council site, it is very confusing and not intuitive at all. Way too many options that lead nowhere. Their residents must be frustrated trying to use it lol They seriously need a revamp!

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  3. I have just rang Camden Sports & Leisure & regarding this issue and as I predicted, they just fobbed me off when I said I was an Islington resident by saying ‘this is Camden’ lol I told him that the Leisure centre is being promoted as for the ‘local community’ but that Islington residents are also part of the Kings Cross community as is stated in the official census data. I believe their definition of ‘local community’ actually means the entire borough of Camden and not in a geographical context. I guess that for marketing purposes, ‘local community’ sounds better and more inclusive than ‘Camden residents only’.

    After I mentioned the S106 document and how it appears Argent was paying for everything he passed me to another guy who was a bit more informative and told me that they have not been given any pricing costs neither when the actual building will be opened so I guess I will try again in a few months.

  4. I guess nobody is really bothered by this 😦 …I have got an update on the Leisure Centre. It seems that Camden have been falsely advertising the leisure centre for ‘the local community’ and ‘at no extra cost for local residents’ as can still be seen on the boarding on the building but in the new 5 St Pancras Square newsletter, it states that ‘it will be provided at no extra cost to Camden’s Council Tax payers. This is not the ‘local community’!! This is very unfair especially since Argent basically paid for everything! I have now written them an email asking for clarification and why they have lied on the boarding. I expect to be fobbed off..again…

    http://mycamdennews.net/U8C-2I1Z1-64FZCFZMFE/cr.aspx

  5. Sophie Talbot says:

    Thanks for doing all this chasing papitochulito. It’s much appreciated. I’ll ask Cllr Convery whether he knows what gives…

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