- London’s Railway Land – Strategic Visions for the King’s Cross Opportunity Area    click here to open paper content224 kb
by    Gossop, Chris | Chris.Gossop.a6@pins.gsi.gov.uk   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper explores the vision that underlies the King’s Cross development, a major mixed use scheme that is closely related to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link to be completed in November 2007. A key question is to what extent does the vision for King’s Cross meet the wider planning objectives for London?
London’s Railway Land – The Strategic Vision for the King’s Cross Opportunity Area
The ground-breaking London Plan, adopted in 2004, seeks to accommodate a 10% increase in population by the year 2016, and it also envisages a quarter of a million new jobs. Under Objective 1 of the Plan, the new development will have to be built within London’s existing boundaries, without encroaching upon open spaces.

The ‘macro’ vision for London includes 28 Opportunity Areas which are to be foci for substantial growth. Among them are several major railway terminals where there is to be intensive, transport linked development. This paper focuses upon the King’s Cross Development where a major mixed use scheme will follow in the wake of the soon to be opened Channel Tunnel Rail Link. This is a site whose future has been argued over for more than 30 years and, at last, this major opportunity is about to be realised.

This paper outlines the vision that underlies the King’s Cross development and the way that it has evolved in the face of the opportunities and the challenges present. It examines the way that the plan was constructed and it identifies the main actors. But, above all, it seeks to explore the extent to which this planned development meets the fundamental aims and objectives of the London Plan and other relevant planning documents.

London, as a world city, displays huge strengths but there are also major tensions. For example, there is persistent social deprivation alongside the affluence and, environmentally, there are many areas where the quality of life leaves much to be desired. Thus, following those aims and objectives, does this development help make London a better place to live and work in, as well as a more attractive, well designed and green city, and does it promote social inclusivity? Thus, does the vision for King’s Cross represent good planning?
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