Should the Forum disband? If so, should any of its activity continue? These are the questions for the next meeting of the King’s Cross Development Forum (on 13 December).
Members of the Steering Committee are intending to stand down. The activity of the Forum in monitoring the development of King’s Cross Central is winding down gradually, and the activity in supporting the occupants of the development has not taken over.
There is a case for continuing and redirecting some of the activity, but that will not happen without your active involvement. Please think what you would like to happen and, if appropriate, be prepared to join the Steering Committee.
At its next meeting, on 13 December, the Forum will have:
- A review of the past year.
- A discussion and decision about whether to continue.
- The election of the officers for the coming year, if any are needed.
The Forum meeting will be from 7:00 to 9:00 on Wednesday 13 December in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall. It is open to the public (as are all Forum meetings). If you are unable to attend it but want to make proposals or to join the Steering Committee, please contact us so that your position can be taken into account at the meeting.
At its meeting on 11 May the Forum heard about the detailed plans for Zone A of King’s Cross Central (along the railway lines to the south of Goods Way). The buildings to be occupied by up to 10,000 Google employees in King’s Cross Central are shown alongside. Aso, Julia Finlayson of Argent described the current proposals for traffic control, Granary Square (or at least Pavilion H) and Keskidee Square (in Zone S).
The plans and proposals are outlined in the minutes of the meeting. The planning application for Zone A (2017/3133/P) has been submitted since the meeting, and the Forum has made a response aligned with the views expressed at the meeting.
At its next meeting, on 11 May, the Forum will hear from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Heatherwick Studio and Argent about the plans for the Google office next to the railway. BIG and Heatherwick Studio are also designing the Google headquarters in Mountain View, projected alongside; at King’s Cross they replaced earlier architects, whose plans were said to be too boring.
Then Julia Finlayson, a landscape architect from Argent, will review the intentions for the public spaces around the site, looking at past plans and future developments.
The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 on Thursday 11 May in Committee Room 2 of Camden Town Hall. All are welcome to this (and every other) meeting of the Forum.
At the meeting of the Forum on 22 November, Lisa Young of Transport for London outlined the main conclusions from the consultation on the initial proposals for eliminating the gyratory and returning roads to two way working.
The members of the Forum welcomed the fact that, by contrast with many presentations, the remarks paid attention to the views of the Forum, as expressed in its response to the consultation. They urged Transport for London and Camden to make improvements now that would not compromise the long term plans to follow the next consultation.
The minutes of the meeting summarise the discussions on the plans. The meeting was also the annual review meeting; the annual review report is here.
At its meeting on 5 July the Forum heard from the architects Bennetts Associates about the plans for the Sports Hall. The architects wanted to make a bold civic statement but could not be grandiloquent, because the railway tunnels ran just beneath the site. They also wanted to pick up motifs from the (rather distant) railway sheds.
Regardless of its boldness, the proposed building will be overshadowed by the blocks to the west of York Way, which can be allowed deeper foundations. Members of the Forum were also concerned that it was ugly and dark; even if it was a civic statement it was perhaps not very civil. The same concern had been expressed at the meeting of the Design Panel and Access Forum. The planning application submitted thereafter (2016/5580/P) appeared to ignore this concern, which the Forum then reiterated in a short response.
Also at the meeting the landscape architect Julia Finlayson from Argent outlined the intentions for the public spaces around the site. The outline was valued highly and prompted requests for a further treatment, covering the whole area, at greater length.
The minutes of the meeting provide a summary of all this.