Two sides of the Triangle, and objections to the plans for the Coal Drops

W placesAt the meeting on 9 December the architect David Morley described the housing planned for ‘the triangle site’, which is split between Islington and Camden where York Way used to lie. The plans have progressed since the meeting mentioned in the annual review report; in particular, the brickwork is now less oppressively dark.

Housing (with some shops and a shops and a café) bounds two sides of the triangle, and an ecology area and a recreation centre bound the third. The site is cut off by the road and the railways to the east, north and west. However, the garden between the blocks might attract people from outside, as long as it remains publicly accessible. Plans for the garden, the ecology area and the recreation centre have yet to be developed fully, but some details of the housing are in the minutes of the meeting.

After discussion under any other business, the Forum decided to submit an objection to the main planning application for the Coal Drops. The Victorian Society and the Islington Society had already done so; subsequently Save, the Camden Civic Society and the Regent’s Canal Conservation Advisory Committee did so, too. A common theme of the objections is the planned extra floor with a massive new roof that destroys some original fabric and obscures the original purpose. The discussion that prompted the objection by the Forum is summarised in the minutes of the meeting.

The meeting was also the annual review meeting, where the annual review report was tabled; its sections on transport provision and health care provision included, unusually, briefings by external contributors from King’s Cross Estate Management, Camden Planning and Camden and Islington Public Health.

When the planning application for the Coal Drops was discussed by the Camden Development Control Committee (on 17 December), the six organisations that objected to it had no opportunity to speak (because they had asked to do so thirty minutes too late) and the chair, Councillor Heather Johnson, insisted that other discussions could be postponed until future meetings but this one could not (although the objectors had asked for postponement). In the circumstances it is perhaps not surprising that only one member of the Committee, Councillor Roger Freeman, appeared to have read the objections and to question the need for the extra floor and the appearance of the new roof. The web cast of the discussion is here; the planning application papers and objections are here. The Times (on 30 December) quoted Argent as saying that it tried to listen “where people had valid points”.

The next meeting of the Forum will be on Wednesday 16 March.

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