Alternative approaches to the gyratory

roundaboutAt the meeting of the Forum on 16 March, Sarah Morning of Transport for London outlined the objectives and initial proposals for eliminating the gyratory and returning roads to two way working. Then Tom Harrison of the London Cycling Campaign presented other proposals that had the same objectives but reached rather more radical conclusions, especially by restricting private motor traffic to provide space for pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers instead of two way roads. Charlotte May, provided an update about the area travel plan, which she is employed by King’s Cross Estate Services to work on for three days in each month.

The members of the Forum welcomed the approach of Transport for London, with its recognition that the gyratory did not meet current needs and its willingness to consult the community before the details were fixed. They were also glad to see alternatives from the London Cycling Campaign to some of those details. They had seen a draft response to the consultation on the approach and decided to make the final response cover points very like several of those covered by the London Cycling Campaign. The resulting response is here.

The minutes of the meeting summarise the discussions on the plans.

Posted in Euston Road, King's Cross Square, Surrounding developments, York Way | Leave a comment

Plans for removing the gyratory

gyratoryAt the next meeting of the Forum, on 16 March, Rajesh Upadhyaya of Transport for London will explain the plans for eliminating the gyratory. Charlotte May and Laura Brett, who have been providing input to TfL on behalf of their respective boroughs (Camden and Islington), will be present, too. Then Charlotte May, who works for King’s Cross Estate Services as well as Camden Council, will provide an update about the area travel plan, following on from her presentation to the Forum last year.

Many people have welcomed the plans for eliminating the gyratory, but some have doubts about its treatment of the bus lanes, cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, Acton Street, Britannia Street, … As the Forum meeting is only four days before the end of the consultation period, Rajesh Upadhyaya might be able to deal with some of the public comments. Afterwards the Forum will consider its response to the consultation on the plans; a draft of the response will be available for review and revision by then.

The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 on Wednesday 16 March in Committee Room 2 of Camden Town Hall. All are welcome to this (and every other) meeting of the Forum.

Posted in Euston Road, King's Cross Square, Surrounding developments, York Way | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in Annual reviews, Coal Drops Yard, Meeting minutes, W | Leave a comment

How will the Triangle be filled?

w from aboveAt its next meeting, on 9 December, the Forum will have:

  • A description of the housing planned for Zone W (‘the triangle site’), which is split between Islington and Camden along the former route of York Way.
  • A review of the past year.
  • A discussion of the intentions for next year.
  • The election of the officers for next year.

The meeting is from 7:00 to 9:00 on Wednesday 9 December in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall. All are welcome to this (and every other) meeting of the Forum.

Posted in Annual reviews, W | 1 Comment

Views of social housing and the Natural Park bridge

greenwich reach bridgeAt the most recent meeting, on 30 September, Ben Addy of Moxon Architects described the plans for the Camley Street Bridge, which rises on a ramp through the Natural Park before crossing the Regent’s Canal. It is a clear simple structure, distantly related to the Greenwich Reach Bridge (the swing foot bridge by the same architects, shown alongside), which is greatly appreciated.

Before the discussion of the Camley Street Bridge, Robert Evans of Argent explained the Argent position on the reduction in social and affordable housing in King’s Cross Central, and answered questions from Councillor Siân Berry and others. In brief, the sums available to housing associations have been cut drastically by the government, the costs to Argent of development have risen, and extra money made available by replacing some of the planned social and affordable housing by open market housing (at ever-rising prices) will help to subsidise the remainder.

Some details are in the minutes of the meeting. Also, when the planning application for the Camley Street bridge was submitted, the Forum provided a response that welcomed it.

The next meeting, on Wednesday 9 December, will be the annual review meeting.

Posted in Central developments, Fish and Coal Buildings, Surrounding developments | 1 Comment