planning report PDU/0347/02
16 November 2005
King’s Cross Central
in the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington
planning application nos.
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London
Authority Act 1999; Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order
2000 – strategic planning application stage 1 referral UPDATE
Comprehensive, phased, mixed use development of former railway lands within the King's
Cross Opportunity Area, as set out in the Revised Development Specification.
2004/2311 (Camden) P041261 (Islington)
Mixed use development of part of the former railway lands within the Camden King's Cross
Opportunity Area and an Islington Area of Opportunity, as set out in the Revised
‘King’s Cross Central’ development partners, comprising Argent King’s Cross, London and
Continental Railways (LCR) and Exel Plc. The primary landowners are London and
Continental Railways and Exel plc.
Substantial progress has been made in reaching resolution on the strategic planning issues
previously raised by the Mayor in relation to transport, retail, regeneration, accessibility, open
space and design. The applicant has worked closely with the GLA group to address the
Mayor’s concerns and the amendments to accommodate the Cross River Tram and a bike park
within the development are particularly welcomed. The imaginative approach to child play
space provision is also fully supported. However, a number of outstanding strategic planning
issues remain relating to affordable housing, energy, accessibility, the southern hub and
biodiversity. Further work is also required on detailed matters relating to noise, air quality
impacts and the outstanding issues raised by Transport for London before the applications are
referred back to the Mayor for a decision.
That Islington and Camden Councils be advised that many of the amendments to the scheme
are supported but that the applications are unlikely to be acceptable unless the outstanding
strategic planning issues are addressed in full.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 1
1 On 7 October Islington and Camden Councils consulted the Mayor of London on a
proposal to develop the above site for the above uses. Under the provisions of the Town &
Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2000 the Mayor has the same opportunity as
other statutory consultees to comment on the proposal. This report sets out information for
the Mayor’s use in deciding what comments to make.
2 If Camden and Islington Councils subsequently decide that they are minded to grant
planning permission they must first allow the Mayor an opportunity to decide whether to
direct them to refuse permission.
3 The environmental information for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning
(Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 has been taken
into account in the consideration of this case.
4 On 27 October 2004 the Mayor considered planning report PDU/0347/01 in
relation to the original proposals and subsequently advised Camden and Islington Councils
“The application raises a number of fundamental issues relating to transport and the impact of the
development on rail, underground and the interchange. The Underground Northern Ticket Hall
and associated below ground access improvements are required by 2011 even without the
development having taken place. It is therefore imperative that the Northern Ticket Hall is fully
implemented before the development can proceed. Furthermore, serious overcrowding will occur on
rail services at King’s Cross within the next 10 years.
Notwithstanding the above concerns the proposals have the potential to deliver a dramatic new
urban quarter predicated on mixed-use, sustainable, high-density development within a high
quality environment, to build on the unique heritage features of the site. It could deliver a
fundamental change to the economy and environment of this key part of central London. Aspects of
the application respond imaginatively to the challenges of the site and the provisions of the London
Plan. The proposals have been a long time in the planning and the applicants have used the long
gestation period to actively engage and consult with community groups and other stakeholders,
which is strongly supported. The aspirations for a rich and varied mix of uses across the site is
particularly welcomed and are commensurate with the unique character and tradition of the
Central Activities Zone.
Whilst the scheme goes some way in meeting such objectives, there are several other areas of concern
which need to be addressed if the scheme is to satisfactorily fulfil the strategic planning objectives
enshrined in the London Plan. These relate to the full spectrum of issues raised in this report.
These issues include:
The maximisation of affordable housing provision in response to the Mayor’s policies on
affordable housing and his strategic target of 50%.
That the density, mix and phasing of homes and jobs proposed respond appropriately to public
transport accessibility and capacity, London’s ‘World City’ functions and the ‘local’ sets of
activities that give the central sub-region its exceptional character.
The urban design and layout concerns expressed in this report, particularly the southern
entrance to the site and space between the stations, which remain unresolved. The need to
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 2
ensure that supporting design information forms part of the outline planning permission and
to understand when and how further attention to design will follow.
The full range of transport issues raised in this report including underground and rail
capacity; Transport Assessment methodology and demand assumptions; the integration of
public transport, highways provision and public realm; the impact on the Transport for
London Road Network; car parking; pedestrian and cyclist access and connections; bus
provision, operation and infrastructure; the integration of coach facilities; taxi access; space to
be preserved for the path, tram stops and terminating facilities for Cross River Tram which
should be shown on the parameter plans; and, S.106 contributions for transport.
The development should be open to all users and be fully accessible 24 hours a day. The
development should promote social integration by making streets and public realm fully
accessible and should be adopted by the local authorities.
The opportunity for additional moorings off-line as part of the development and other policies
relating to the Blue Ribbon Network in the London Plan.
The current preferred route through the northern section of Camley Street Natural Park and
the likely biodiversity impacts.
Meeting the London Plan objectives for relating to waste, energy, sustainable design and
construction and access.
Ensuring that the development is suitably integrated with the adjoining area and achieving
synthesis with existing regeneration programmes and LDA involvement.”
5 A copy of the above-mentioned report is attached. The essentials of the case with
regard to the proposal, the site, case history, strategic planning issues and relevant policies
and guidance are as set out therein, unless otherwise stated in this report. Since then, the
application has been revised in response to the Mayor’s concerns (see update below).
6 The Mayor of London’s comments on this case will be made available on the GLA
7 Since the Mayor’s consideration of the initial planning application the GLA group has
worked closely with the applicant, the borough councils, Government and other stakeholders
towards resolving these issues. This collaboration led to the formation of the King’s Cross
Strategic Forum to enable closer integration of multiple projects/programmes and improved
communication between key stakeholders outside the scope of the planning applications.
8 The successful Olympic bid included proposals for a shuttle service (called the
Olympic Javelin) which will operate high-speed trains, using the CTRL track, to run from
King’s Cross/St Pancras to Stratford. The service has been designed to carry 25,000
passengers per hour.
9 This report updates the Mayor on the following strategic issues, including progress
since the Mayor’s previous comments and the main outstanding strategic planning issues:
Employment, retail and London’s World City role
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 3
Biodiversity and blue ribbon network issues
Design and open space issues
Amendments to the applications
10 The principal changes to the proposals include:
An increase in the public realm including increased areas of 'green' landscape/open
space and children’s play space.
Revised landscape proposals for a number of other streets and squares.
The embedment of the southern Stanley Building within a new building.
Reduced maximum building height in some development areas.
Additional scheme parameters in relation to the proposed Cross River Tram.
The provision of a bike station/interchange.
Changes to access and circulation routes within the scheme, with general traffic
removed from a number of areas and the incorporation of Urban Homes Zones.
Specific proposals for renewable energy, including up to fourteen wind turbines.
Priority zones for native species planting and for green and brown roofs.
The provision of green/brown roofs and larger habitat areas within the Triangle
Revised proposals for 1,700 residential units, plus up to 650 units of student housing
with additional information now provided on the overall unit mix, the quantum and
types of affordable housing to be delivered.
Reduced car parking provision for business and employment (B1) floorspace within
Explicit provision for health, education and other community facilities, with
SOURCE: Townshend Landscape Architects
Retail, employment and London’s World City role
11 In previous comments the Mayor raised a number of concerns in relation to the
retail impact methodology adopted. The applicant’s retail assessment did not adequately
reflect the approach taken in the Camden Retail Study (2004) undertaken by the Council in a
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 4
number of crucial areas, notably: the identification of impact, trade diversion, catchment
areas, and the neighbouring centres considered.
12 Camden Council’s consultants Roger Tym & Partners produced the Camden Retail
Study and have assessed the applicants’ retail assessment. The consultant’s report considers
many of the Mayor’s previous comments and agreement has been reached regarding the
methodology and the assessment overall. This now accords with the PPS6 requirement that
development proposals are framed within the borough-level retail assessments and that they
use comparable assumptions and methodologies. The retail assessment is now accepted as
sufficient to demonstrate that the proposed maximum level of retailing would not have
significant adverse impacts and GLA officers concur with this conclusion.
13 The revised development specification includes updated floorspace schedules that
reflect the proposed changes. The revised proposals represent, for example, a reduction in
the total floorspace applied for across the main site (down 5,185sq.m. to 713,090sq.m.).
14 The applicant has revisited its floorspace schedule and made the following changes:
A reduction in B1 business and employment floorspace (down 30,770sq.m. to
A reduction in residential floorspace (down 3,400sq.m. to 173,475sq.m.).
A reduction in D1 floorspace (down 3,935sq.m. to 71,830sq.m.).
A reduction in D2/nightclub floorspace (down 2,820sq.m. to 28,730sq.m.).
A reduction in the multi storey car park (down 2,350sq.m. to 21,500sq.m.).
An increase in “other” floorspace, to reflect the new floorspace provision for public
bicycle interchange/storage facilities.
No changes in floorspace provision for Hotels(C1)/Serviced Apartments,
Shopping/Food and Drink (A1-A5) and Cinema.
15 The changes to the ‘global’ and disaggregated floorspace figures raise no strategic
planning issues that cannot be dealt with adequately by the local planning authority. The
key employment issue for King’s Cross Central is the need to support and develop both the
‘World City’ functions and the ‘local’ sets of activities that give the central sub-region its
exceptional character and tradition. This entails ensuring that vulnerable neighbourhoods,
largely beyond the Central Activities Zone but some within it, benefit from new
opportunities flowing from major growth.
16 A key concern of the Mayor’s London Plan and Economic Development Strategy is
to provide better access to the employment opportunities, especially for those who hitherto
have faced labour market barriers. The applicants’ proposals embodied in the Regeneration
Strategy go a long way towards this although clearly further refinement is necessary, with
clear mechanisms for delivery captured in the legal agreement. The London Development
Agency is already involved in regeneration programmes in this area and its comments on the
employment aspects of the application are provided elsewhere in this report. It will be
necessary for the Mayor to consider the proposals for employment and training, as they are
finalised and agreed, before the application is referred back to him for a decision.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 5
17 The revised development specification specifies that at least 40% of the proposed non-
student flats would be ‘affordable’ (“subject to securing appropriate financial, lettings,
management and other delivery mechanisms.”). Revised proposals provide for 1,700
residential flats (rather than the 1,600 minimum and 2,300 maximum specified in May 2004),
plus up to 650 units of student housing. The revised development specification also states
the following dwelling mix:
Residential flats (excluding student housing)
Studio/1 bed 37-42% 629 – 714 units (previously
2 bed 30-35% 510 - 595 units (previously
3 bed 18-22% 306 – 374 units (previously
4 bed 5-11% 85 – 187 units (previously 5%)
Studios up to 150 units
Cluster flats up to 500 units
18 As explained in the Mayor’s previous comments, justification is required as to why
the Mayor’s target of 50% cannot be achieved on this site. Most of the Mayor’s previous
comments on the housing aspects of the applications still stand. The following housing
points should be addressed before the application is referred back to the Mayor for a decision
if the scheme is to be acceptable in strategic planning terms.
19 The key outstanding strategic housing issues are:
The need to satisfy London Plan policies 3A.7 and 3A.8 in pursuance of the Mayor’s
overall strategic target that 50% of new housing provision (supply from all sources)
should be affordable housing and the London wide objective of 70% social housing and
30% intermediate provision.
The need to ensure that the housing mix is consistent with the guidance in the Mayor’s
Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance. The proportion of 4 bedroom or larger
homes at 5-11% is significantly below the 30% in the Mayor’s guidance, whereas the
proportion of studio and 1 bedroom flats at 37-42% is above the 32% in the Mayor’s
The need to ensure most effective use of housing grant. Both the Mayor and the
Housing Corporation require a comprehensive financial appraisal to ensure grant is used
effectively, and that the maximum affordable housing output from the development is
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 6
Ensuring the highest possible space standards for users, in both public and private
spaces inside and outside the buildings. The London Plan states, in paragraph 4.42, that
“new building projects should ensure the highest possible space standards for users, in both public
and private spaces inside and outside the building, creating spacious and usable private as well as
public spaces.” The London Plan also states: “in particular, buildings should provide good
storage and secondary space and maximise floor-ceiling heights where this is compatible with
other urban design objectives.” The GLA supports Camden Council in seeking the highest
possible space standards compatible with other objectives.
Ensuring the Mayor’s strategic planning policies are adequately reflected in any
proposed legal agreement, including cascade mechanisms.
Transport for London
20 The southern part of the site enjoys excellent public transport accessibility with the
highest range of transport options in London. The site south of the canal has a Public
Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 6 (in a range of 1- 6 where 6 is excellent).
However, the outlying areas currently have a PTAL of 1, which is expected to rise to 4 once
the site is developed and additional transport services are provided.
21 The site is served by thirteen bus routes, six Underground lines, and national rail
services to both King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. International rail services will become
available on completion of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in 2007 and the Cross River Tram
is also currently under consideration.
22 However, despite the good PTAL, the public transport network and particularly the
King’s Cross Interchange are already under pressure. Transport for London has been
concerned to understand the implications of the development on public transport services
and Interchange and the highways network. As a result, TfL has been working closely with
the borough councils, the applicant and its consultants to fully understand the impact of the
development on the public transport network. Also, a number of other issues have been
discussed, in particular access and safeguarding for the Cross River Tram, the layout of
Pancras Road, bus route extensions and enhancements and provision of space for a bike park.
Details of all these aspects are set out below.
Bus, Underground and Rail Capacity
23 Since the receipt of the first Masterplan (summer 2004) extensive discussions and
working meetings have been held with the applicant and its consultants to clarify the
Transport Assessment. Agreement on many issues has been reached. In particular the
following have been agreed:
Transport demand and modal share for 2020 and indicative demand for intermediate
years based on the applicants’ expected build-out.
Trip rates and data sources.
24 In order to inform the assessment of the development’s impact, TfL undertook a
series of Railplan tests for 2021, using the agreed transport demand. These tests used trip
distributions and background growth assumptions implicit in the TfL models. Rail capacity
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 7
enhancements were based on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the London Plan.
Sensitivity tests were also undertaken, looking in particular at the impact of only committed
(funded) schemes being available in 2021. The Railplan results are summarised below.
Further details are given in Annex A and the full appraisal is set out in TfL’s technical
report, Summary of the Assessment of King’s Cross Central Development using Railplan.
Underground and Rail capacity
25 The results of the Railplan analysis indicate that the public transport network in
2021 with the planned improvements will still be crowded, but, on the whole, it can be
expected to cope with the additional demand placed upon it by this development. The
planned improvements assume Thameslink 2000.
26 Bus services to the site are expected to be heavily used, particularly from the Kentish
Town/Tufnell Park areas. Railplan shows that around 15% of development trips will use
the bus, which is compatible with the applicants’ overall mode split of 20% for bus and
walking trips. The importance of bus in providing a flexible and tailored option for local
journeys is recognised, particularly as Underground flows and crowding increase (see Bus
section below for further detail). The Cross River Tram also provides benefits by relieving
27 The Railplan analysis carried out by TfL (without Thameslink 2000) has highlighted
the importance of the Thameslink 2000 project to provide transport capacity for future
London growth. This capacity is required to relieve current and future overcrowding on
national rail links and the Underground into and across London. If Thameslink is not
available to meet this demand, high levels of passenger crowding and congestion, beyond
that currently experienced, is expected. This will require the Underground and Network
Rail to manage passenger flows to ensure safe operation of the transport network. Station
closures and associated queuing and time delays can be expected to increase.
28 The future timing of Thameslink 2000 is uncertain. The public inquiry into the
revised planning application is almost complete and TfL is awaiting the inspector’s report
and Secretary of State’s decision on the scheme, due in 2006. The scheme also requires
funding to be committed. TfL itself is discussing with DfT options for implementing
Thameslink 2000 in phases in order to deliver the necessary capacity.
29 TfL considers it is imperative that all stakeholders continue to provide positive
support and pressure on the Department for Transport for the early implementation of
Thameslink 2000 to provide the necessary capacity to support the growth of London.
30 London Underground’s ‘King’s Cross Phase 2’ enhancements include a Northern
Ticket Hall and new sub-surface access arrangements. Funding for these works has still not
been confirmed by the Department for Transport. However, this is believed to be imminent.
On the assumption that funding from the Department is forthcoming it is London
Underground’s aspiration to complete its works by September 2009. This would allow
construction of the Network Rail Western Concourse to be completed in time for the
Olympics. London Underground is already working with Argent through the Department
for Transport to ensure the build out of King’s Cross Central does not prejudice the key date
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 8
31 London Underground has undertaken further modelling of the Northern Ticket Hall
following the integration of the design with Network Rail Western Concourse scheme. The
results have confirmed that the introduction of the proposed King’s Cross Central north-
south subway connection to the St. Pancras subway will not cause capacity problems.
32 Looking further ahead, the capacity of the Underground station assumes the
construction of Thameslink 2000; without this scheme there will be greater pressure on the
Underground infrastructure (see details in Annex A).
Site layout and integration of public transport and highways network
33 TfL was disappointed in the scheme submitted in 2004 with the lack of integration of
public transport, highways provision, linkage to the surrounding communities and public
realm. The revised application has now addressed many of TfL’s concerns including
agreement on bus routing through the site, options for Cross River Tram access, and the
provision of a cycle park as part of the development.
34 There has also been good progress between the stakeholders towards agreeing the
basis of a high quality integrated public transport interchange and International Gateway,
which will be a major transport hub for the 2012 Olympics.
Great Northern Hotel
35 The application includes potential layouts with and without the King’s Cross Station
Enhancements (known as the Western Concourse) proposed by Network Rail. TfL
considers that if the Network Rail King’s Cross Western Concourse scheme goes ahead, then
it will be imperative that the Great Northern Hotel is colonnaded at ground floor level to
provide a 5m walkway to provide sufficient pedestrian space to accommodate the high
volumes of pedestrians in this area. Ideally, pillars should where possible be located to allow
clear access onto the pedestrian crossing on Pancras Road directly in front of the Eurostar
entrance. It is understood that the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the
applicant (who owns the hotel) are in discussions regarding securing this walkway.
Pancras Road layouts
36 The application documents include highway and landscaping proposals with and
without the King’s Cross Station Western Concourse scheme (known as the King’s Cross
a) With KX Enhancement
37 TfL supports the layout Option P2 presented on revised illustrative highway
proposals drawings 7311 and 7312, rev 05, which provide the best balance between
pedestrian and other road users. Option P2 is based on a layout (89231/os/026/rev b)
developed by TfL which all the key stakeholders have accepted as a basis for design
development. This layout provides passengers using St Pancras International and King’s
Cross Stations with clear access to taxis and buses. It also provides extra space to allow
pedestrians to cross the road between the stations
38 TfL accepts there are still issues to resolve with Option P2 concerning the layout of
the taxi lane and the provision of cycle access. However, TfL is prepared to accept the plans
listed in paragraph 36 above as the basis to progress detailed design, on condition that:
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 9
Proposals to colonnade the ground floor of the Great Northern Hotel will be
implemented (see above).
Detailed development of the layout follows TfL’s Best Practice Guidelines for Taxis
at Major Interchanges, London Cycling Design Standards and Best Practice
Guidelines for Intermodal Transport Interchange for London.
In particular, the current layout needs to be improved through detailed design to
Kerb-side access for taxi set down.
Safe passage for cyclists, particularly in proximity to queuing and waiting taxis and
access to the proposed bike park (see below).
The Applicant provides a drawing, agreed with the other stakeholders, which
confirms passenger flows can be accommodated in scenarios with and without King’s
Cross Enhancement Schemes.
b) Without King’s Cross Enhancement
39 In the event that the King’s Cross Western Concourse scheme does not proceed TfL
supports the option P1 shown on revised illustrative highway proposals drawings 7411 and
7412; rev 05. In this scenario TfL does accept that the Great Northern Hotel would not
need to be colonnaded if a 5m wide pedestrian route is available across the railway land in
front of the Western Range of King’s Cross Station.
c) Other Plans
40 The Landscape Plans (Appendix D) show two other alternative layouts for Pancras
Road. TfL has strong reservations over layouts LPP101D (with KXE) and LPP101B
(without KXE), both of which allow reduced space for pedestrian flows. These
arrangements create a greater pinch point in front of the Great Northern Hotel. TfL also
has operational and safety concerns with taxis queuing over a pedestrian crossing.
Transport for London Road Network and Strategic Road Network
41 Euston Road, Pentonville Road and Camden Road are part of the Transport for
London Road Network (TLRN) and also the northern boundary of the Congestion Charge
Zone. York Way is part of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) for which TfL has
responsibility under the Traffic Management Act. Five new and /or modified junctions
along York Way are proposed. These will need to be agreed in consultation with TfL
Director of Traffic Operations.
42 TfL has undertaken TRANSYT Modelling of the King's Cross area and is satisfied
that the impact of the TLRN and SRN is acceptable. Camden Council, Islington Council and
the applicant and other stakeholders have been involved in this work. The conclusions are
that for the worst case scenario of 2021, when the development should be fully completed,
the traffic flows generated by it should have no major impact on the traffic capacity of
Euston Road or Camden Road and could be satisfactorily accommodated on the TLRN
network. This work was carried out using the quantum of floor space in the scheme first
submitted; as overall floor space has been reduced in the revised scheme it is reasonable to
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 10
deduce that the net effect will be fewer trips, particularly during the peak hours and will
therefore have less impact.
43 TfL welcomes the applicant’s general agreement to the principle streets being
adopted by the local authorities and TfL strongly supports the borough councils in securing
44 Discussions have been held with the applicant and the highway authorities to ensure
that weekend and evening parking controls are stringent. Inappropriately parked vehicles
can obstruct buses and create undue hazard and delays. TfL believes that on-street parking
controls in the area, including waiting and loading restrictions, should be reviewed when the
site is occupied, to prevent parked vehicles interfering with traffic management duties for
safe movement of traffic including the operation of buses.
45 The impact of construction traffic on the local road network has been included in the
Transport Assessment, which TfL welcomes. However, TfL wishes to reserve its right to
influence the development of the Traffic Management Plan once site works are programmed
46 TfL is pleased that the applicant has accepted buses being routed through the site and
that two-way bus operations will be accommodated on the Boulevard and Pancras Road.
47 Review of the Transport Assessment has identified that the development will have an
impact on bus services and London Buses has, in-principle, reached agreement with the
applicant regarding the provision of bus service enhancements to mitigate the impact of the
King’s Cross Central development. Bus planning work has identified several improvements
necessary to provide sufficient new links to other parts of London to enable a development of
this scale to integrate into the city. Also, extra capacity will need to be provided on existing
bus routes currently serving the site, which now operate at or near capacity, so as to enable
passengers travelling to or from the new development to use these routes.
48 The total sum of £4,200,000 has, in principle, been agreed as a Section 106
contribution for bus enhancements. This funding will be in phased payments during the
build-out. The funding comprises:
£540,000 per year for three years for frequency enhancements on route 390.
£166,666 per year for three years as a contribution to the extension of route 63 to
the north of the site.
£405,000 per year for three years for the extension of route 394 from Islington,
Angel, via Barnsbury to the north of the site.
£305,000 per year for three years for the conversion of route 214 from single-deck to
49 TfL will reserve the right to use these payments for alternative measures with
mitigation effects on the development if they are deemed more appropriate closer to the
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 11
50 Each measure has a separate trigger for when funds are due, with the first measure
being the 390 enhancement in 2010, if rates of occupancy proceed at an 'optimistic' rate, and
the last being for the 214 double-decking, from 2017.
51 Exact routes of the service and stopping arrangements in the site will need to be
finalised during the usual process of planning and consultation, but it will be important that
any disadvantage to existing residents as a result of bus re-routings is minimised.
52 TfL has agreed, in principle, with the applicant for the provision of four bus stands
and new driver facilities in the north-west of the site, to cater for buses from routes 63 and
394. The details of the provision of these will have to be agreed in consultation with Bus
Infrastructure Development and other relevant parties at TfL.
53 London Buses has agreed to accept an offer from the applicant for a temporary bus
garage on the site for a minimum of sixty buses, whilst the site is being built out. This is
required to replace the existing temporary bus garage on the site. It is expected that this
could be for up to ten years. This will be based on a commercial rent agreement, which is
still to be agreed. TfL requires the garage to have washing and fuelling facilities.
54 TfL has a programme to bring all London bus stops up to the London Bus Initiative
accessibility standards, including the provision of high kerbs to assist disabled passengers
and red-surfaced clearways to discourage parking at bus stops. All new bus stops should be
provided to this standard, as set out in London Buses’ service proposals document.
55 TfL welcomes the reference to taxis in the Access and Inclusivity Strategy.
56 TfL has noted the indication of a canopied area for the taxi pick up. The design of
this will have to be agreed with the Public Carriage Office as well as Network Rail. The
Office currently has a generic design for taxi waiting areas that has been developed and
wishes to be involved in the discussions for the design of this facility.
57 In terms of the taxi facility on Pancras Road for the setting down of taxi passengers
for King’s Cross, the final detailed design will need to be agreed with the Public Carriage
Office. The aim should be to ensure that a kerb side location for setting down taxi
passengers is achieved. This is to ensure a seamless journey to the station concourse for
those passengers with heavy luggage or who are mobility impaired
58 The feeder queue up Pancras Road currently shows no break in it for access to the
developments on the east side, mid way up Pancras Road; this may need to be considered.
59 TfL welcomes the revised parking standards that have been applied to commercial B1
aspect of the development, which are more stringent than the previous scheme. This will
result in less parking and hence will generate fewer trips to and from the site by car.
However, in its response to the first scheme TfL raised the issue that the applicant had
presented the need for car parking on a 'use-by-use basis' i.e. provision has been calculated
for each individual land use activity (business, leisure, housing, shopping, etc) separately.
This has the effect of creating surplus car parking capacity at certain times, as the peak
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 12
parking demands for the different activities on the site vary. TfL asked to see a multiple-use
approach to minimise the overall parking requirements. This does not appear to have
addressed; TfL still maintains that the overall car parking should be calculated on this basis,
as set out in the London Plan Annex 4, paragraph 29.
60 25 car parking spaces have been allocated to the 650 student housing units. TfL
considers these should primarily be reserved for disabled use.
61 TfL is disappointed that a more restrictive standard than 0.5 car parking space per
residential has not been applied in view of the site’s excellent PTAL score and that there is
not a positive commitment to car-free housing.
Pedestrians and access
62 The Access and Inclusivity Strategy details the hierarchy of routes. TfL wishes to
have confirmation that pedestrians and cyclists are able to access all of these routes and not
just the pedestrian zones.
63 Pedestrian routes should be accessible to all. TfL welcomes that the document
Inclusive Mobility will be used to plan routes for pedestrians. TfL considers that it is
important that any steps included are designed to these standards and would wish to see
more detail, to ensure that they comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. However,
other guidance, including TfL’s Streetscape Guidance and the Department for Transport’s
Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving should also be considered to ensure that facilities will
cater for all pedestrians.
64 TfL assumes that the highways and other key pedestrian access links will be adopted
to ensure adequate and uninterrupted pedestrian footway widths.
65 TfL supports rigorous arrangements for maintenance to ensure that facilities remain
to a high standard and the use of CCTV to ensure a secure environment.
Cycle access and parking
66 TfL’s Cycling Centre of Excellence considers the development is broadly acceptable
but believes that the applicant, with Camden and Islington Councils, should give cyclists
priority access to King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. This should be in line with TfL’s
best practice guidelines for Intermodal Transport Interchange for London; and its London
Cycling Design Standards for routes of high importance (e.g. Pancras Road, Euston Road and
York Way). In particular it is necessary to ensure sufficient width to enable safe,
unobstructed passage for cyclists.
67 Provision of cycle parking for buildings on the site must be in line with TfL’s London
Cycling Design Standards. In addition adequate cycle parking should be provided at the
entrances of buildings, shops and amenities to provide for short stay and visitors arriving by
68 The revised specifications for the Islington Triangle site detail that 250 bicycle
spaces will be provided. However, using TfL’s Cycling Centre of Excellence standards, this
indicates that 492 spaces should be provided for the residential aspect. TfL wishes to see
this revised in line with its standards.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 13
69 TfL welcomes the in principle agreement with the applicant for the provision of space
in the ground floor of Building B1 for a high quality Bike Park for 800 cycles. This will
provide facilities for renting and parking cycles to assist with combining cycling with rail
travel. This is a favourable location opposite St. Pancras station and TfL has been offered
discounted rent for this facility.
70 TfL, with the borough councils, will wish to discuss arrangements for cycle access
over the site, where appropriate, during the various construction phases.
Cross River Tram
71 TfL has, over the past twelve months, worked closely with the applicant and other
key stakeholders including Camden Council, London & Continental Railways and Network
Rail to identify a suitable terminus location for Cross River Tram (CRT) which
accommodates TfL’s requirements for the tram in conjunction with the needs of other
surface transport in the area including pedestrians, cyclists, buses, taxis and general road
72 This work has focused on developing and appraising various options for the terminus
to suit TfL and key stakeholder requirements. The conclusions to these studies have led to
the three route and terminus options, which are shown on the applicant’s revised parameter
73 The three options show the preferred locations of Argent, Camden Council and TfL
Midland Road Option: favoured by Argent.
Euston Road Option: favoured by Camden Council.
King’s Cross Hub Option (southern end of Boulevard): favoured by TfL.
74 TfL and the applicant have now agreed a draft position statement that will form the
basis of the heads of terms of a Section 106 agreement. This sets out that TfL will carry out
further work on the three options to establish which delivers the best transport benefits,
prior to TfL selecting which one will be included in its submission under the Transport and
75 TfL welcomes the addition of Handyside Park and pedestrian and cycle only access
from York Way on the north side of the canal. This will provide an attractive link which
will help to integrate the development with the communities to the east of York Way.
76 Regarding the area south of the canal and particularly the interchange ‘hub’, TfL
understands that Camden Council is preparing a brief for an urban design competition. The
intension is to seek urban realm improvements for the wider King's Cross area (to include
the streets immediately outside of the application boundary). TfL has offered to part fund
77 TfL wishes to promote best practice and integration of coach facilities, in line with
the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Coaches are an important form of the public transport as
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 14
they are inexpensive and therefore socially inclusive. By providing spaces for coaches, group
travel to and from King’s Cross Central facilities will be encouraged, which will benefit both
rail and coach passengers.
78 Coach access and parking within the development for hotel, leisure and other
amenities that might attract coach travel has not been addressed. TfL wishes to work with
the borough councils and the applicant to identify adequate drop off facilities and sufficient
coach parking spaces within the site, to avoid coaches waiting on nearby streets, which will
add to traffic congestion, increase emissions and have a negative impact on the neighbouring
Green travel plan
79 TfL welcomed the Green Travel Plan that was included with the first scheme, but
observed that there was no evidence of how this programme would be funded and there were
no targets, so its deliverability was uncertain. This does not appear to have been addressed
within the revised application. TfL wishes to see this addressed, in view of the strategic
importance of ensuring sustainable travel to and from this site.
Section 106 summary
80 TfL is satisfied with the following ‘in principle’ Section 106 agreements:
Up to a total of £4.2m bus enhancements and extensions .
Standing for four buses.
Facilities for bus drivers.
An agreed position statement safeguarding the terminus for the Cross River
Tram, with options now shown on the parameters plan.
Offer of favourable location and rental terms for a bike park close to St. Pancras
Offer of up to ten years temporary bus garage facility for sixty buses.
81 It is imperative that TfL signs the S106 agreement so that its position as a long-term
partner in the delivery of a scheme at King’s Cross is formalised. This will allow an on-
going involvement as the detailed implementation of the S106 agreement is advanced.
The southern hub
82 As expressed in previous comments on the applications, the Mayor views the
southern hub (i.e. the space between the two stations) as a crucial piece of urban space,
acting, as it does, as a window into the rest of the development site and a future gateway into
Europe. For these reasons, the Mayor seeks a high quality piece of urban space that
balances functional transport (and interchange) requirements with the need to produce a
‘world class’ setting worthy of its gateway location between two Grade I listed buildings.
83 The assessment of the capacity of the southern hub area to accommodate anticipated
pedestrian and vehicular flows in the medium and long term is essentially a matter of expert
analysis and modelling. TfL has undertaken this modelling and analysis based on existing
and new data and has reached the conclusion that the proposed layout (option P2) does make
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 15
adequate and satisfactory provision for access to the stations. The key question becomes,
therefore, whether or not such a solution is ‘good enough’ for this gateway location, taking
into account the scheme’s other strategic planning benefits.
84 It is important to stress that the technical conclusion that the proposed layout
provides adequate provision for access to the stations is founded entirely on the firm delivery
of colonnading to the Great Northern Hotel, with the Western Concourse (King’s Cross
Station Enhancement.) If this does not go ahead the proposals fail to provide adequate
provision for pedestrians. It is also important to appreciate that the achievement of an
acceptable (even if not excellent, or ideal) solution depends on a significant intervention into
the fabric of the Hotel, by the introduction of an arcade, or colonnade, at ground floor level.
This has not yet been the subject of any planning or listed building consent application.
Thus, given that no application for listed building consent has been submitted to Camden
Council, and that neither the applicant nor Network Rail have agreed to fund the
colonnading, the GLA seeks further assurances (before the application is referred back to the
Mayor for a decision) that a satisfactory solution is not rendered incapable of achievement if
the present application proposals were to be permitted. To this end, and as TfL states, it is
imperative that adequate pedestrian provision is safeguarded through legal agreement, both
with and without the implementation of the King’s Cross Station Enhancement (KCSE). If
the KCSE does not take place it will be essential for pedestrian access to be secured between
the Great Northern Hotel and King’s Cross Station (i.e. Network Rail land).
85 TfL has tabled drawings for all stakeholders showing Pancras Road layouts with and
without the hotel. All stakeholders have agreed to adopt the layout with the hotel
colonnaded (89231/os/026/rev b) as a basis for detailed development. Remaining issues are
detailed design of the taxi layout, cycle access and the layout and detail of pedestrian
crossings adjacent to the hotel.
86 The continued challenge for all stakeholders will be effectively defining this piece of
urban space in the face of competing geometries, as well as conflicting transport and
pedestrian demands. There is a suggestion that, through the embedding of the Stanley
Buildings, a secondary space is produced that addresses, to a limited degree, the lack of
‘pedestrian friendly’ space, leaving the main square to vehicles and people in transit between
stations, taxis, and other transport modes.
87 The London Plan and the Mayor’s Energy Strategy identify an energy hierarchy to
be used in the consideration of development proposals (use energy efficiently; use renewable
energy; supply energy efficiently). All referable (strategic) developments should
demonstrate how they would comply with the hierarchy. The Energy Strategy also requires
that at least 10% of the energy needs (power and heat) of development referable to the
Mayor should be from renewable sources (this adds to the provisions of Policy 4A.9 in the
London Plan). The application indicates that there is potential for generating some 10% of
the King’s Cross Central energy needs. An appropriate commitment to the provision of
renewables (including photo-voltaics, wind generation and biomass) is a fundamental
strategic planning requirement.
88 An energy strategy has been submitted following a series of discussions with the
applicant and Camden Council. The technical work to date indicates that there is potential
for reducing carbon emissions by 9.7%. Alongside this, the applicant has set out its approach
to incorporating site-wide combined heat and power, which, subject to clarification on links
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 16
with the Islington Triangle site, is the scheme’s main strength in terms of energy. Overall,
however, the applicant has not been able to demonstrate satisfactorily that its approach will
deliver both appropriate energy efficiency measures, and will require legal commitments to
ensure compliance with London Plan energy policies. In relation to the provision of
renewable technologies, the scheme proposals are, in the main, dependent on delivering
biomass-powered technology, otherwise the contribution from renewables will be negligible.
89 The applicants’ proposal consists of a commitment to exceed building regulations
standards by 5% as and when they change through the phasing of the development. There
will be a combined heat and power system that links all three phases of development, and
includes energy efficient absorption chillers and a private-wire system, which means that the
electricity generated will be used within the development rather than exported to the grid.
The applicant has committed to fourteen wind turbines, pipework for ground source heat
pumps in part of the scheme, show-case photovoltaics and solar hot water panels for the
student housing. The indicative carbon emissions from the development, without the above
measures, are 11,315,945 kg carbon per year. The indicative carbon saving from these
measures is 70,890 kg of Carbon per year, a saving of 0.6%. The applicant has also
investigated biofuel heating and fuel cells. They have not committed to them to date citing
risks associated with supply chains for biofuel and high cost associate with fuel cells. The
incorporation of biofuel boilers for heating would save just over 1 million kg of carbon per
year and bring savings up to 9.7%. A 250kW fuel cell is proposed as and when funding
makes it viable.
Calculation of energy savings
90 Despite requests for details, the applicant has not been able to provide GLA officers
with a breakdown of estimated loads for heating and cooling. This should be possible for the
residential, commercial and leisure uses and is required to demonstrate how, among other
things the is addressing energy efficiency. The need for this information is marked, given
the currently vague and unacceptable approach to energy efficiency proposed, and given the
inclusion of the CHP system where there may be potential to the system to provide cooling.
91 The applicant proposes to commit to exceeding the relevant building regulations by
5% in terms of carbon savings as its strategy to energy efficiency, but wants to retain overall
flexibility of the means to do this. This approach does not allow the GLA to assess how the
applicant intends to address particular aspects of energy efficiency and their likely strategic
impacts. The percentage is arbitrary and does not indicate that energy efficiency will be
integral to the design and maximise the efficiency opportunities. Notwithstanding that, the
target is low and does not match the claims that ambitious targets are being set.
Combined heat and power
92 The most positive aspect of the scheme in energy terms is the applicant’s
commitment to a site-wide CHP system. In order to take full advantage of the system, the
applicant has set out measures that will be needed for future occupiers of buildings to
connect to the system, and for any changes in technologies that can further reduce carbon
93 However, clarification is required on the extent of demand for district cooling and a
commitment to linking the system to the Islington Triangle.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 17
94 The current level of commitment from the applicant delivers a 0.6% saving from
renewable energy technologies. The potential exists to deliver 10%, particularly given the
timescale of the development. The applicant recognises that biofuels represent the best
opportunity for this development to deliver energy from a renewable source, but states that,
although boiler technology has developed to an advanced level and that it has identified a
general fuel resource, it will not commit to the technology until government-stimulated
investment is implemented and takes effect. It also cites the level of maintenance and lack of
visibility, both of which are not acceptable.
95 The current level of commitment is not justified and notwithstanding the comments
regarding energy efficiency and demand calculations, the ability of the scheme to meet the
London Plan energy policies and the Mayor’s energy target is dependent on this.
Biodiversity and blue ribbon network issues
96 The indicative pedestrian and cycle route across the Regent’s Canal and into Camley
Street Natural Park (paragraph 125 of the Mayor’s original Stage 1 report) remains
unchanged (see Landscape Proposals Plan 106B). In previous comments the Mayor
expressed a desire for improved east-west connections across the site. However, this should
not lead to unacceptable adverse biodiversity impacts and it is vital that discussions continue
with the London Wildlife Trust and others to ensure that, either: an alternative east-west
route is found and agreed by all stakeholders or an appropriate package of mitigation
measures is secured through legal agreement. Any proposed package needs to be agreed, to
the satisfaction of GLA officers, before the application is referred back to the Mayor for a
decision if the scheme is to be acceptable in strategic planning terms.
97 The revisions result in an increase in the area of re-created wasteland wildlife habitat
at ground level within the ‘Triangle Site’, and a proposed increase in the total area of
green/brown roofs across the site, which is welcomed.
98 Parameter Plan KXC 006 identifies possible new moorings along either side of the
Canal, which responds to the Mayor’s previous comments relating to the aspiration to
maximise private moorings to be provided as part of the development as an aid to
regeneration. These moorings are subject to British Waterways’ agreement. Nevertheless,
the local planning authority should secure these moorings at rental levels and other
conditions realistic to the potential clients and user market for the lifetime of the
Design and open space issues
99 As stated previously, the principal strategic design issue is the extent to which the
illustrative ‘vision’ can then appropriately guide the proposed detailed zonal masterplans
(beyond those infrastructure elements which are fixed in the parameter plans). The
continued challenge for the councils, the applicant and the GLA is to ensure that the
approach to the outline application is translated into an appropriately high quality, genuinely
mixed use, piece of city.
100 Overall, the GLA has been seeking further clarity in relation to the design strategy
and how this ‘sits’ in the overall outline consent. GLA officers understand that the applicant
is working on design rules and refined guidance to be part of any outline planning
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 18
permission, and setting standards for detailed applications, which is supported in principle.
Each reserved matter application will have to show (how) it meets a wide range of design,
townscape, energy and other tests, but also how it fits with the wider area or zone. If these
measures are adequately embedded in the outline consent the application is likely to meet the
London Plan’s high standards for design. This information should be provided before the
application is referred back to the Mayor for a decision.
101 With regard to open space provision the Mayor raised concerns in relation to the
proposed public open spaces, their size, purpose and the need to ensure they are not
fragmented throughout the site as small parcels that are not connected. Camden Council has
worked with the applicant to address these concerns, examining the nature of surrounding
spaces (within 400m), given the aspiration to connect the site back into London. Through
the Borough-Wide Open Space, Sports and Recreation Study more consideration has have
been given to the links that the development is trying to make to sites beyond the King’s
Cross boundary, identifying any demand from local communities and identifying any gaps.
102 In response to these concerns the applicant has increased the provision of publicly
accessible outdoor open space and changed the function of some spaces (e.g. Market Square).
This includes increasing the size of Cubitt Park (previously Long Park) and introducing
additional spaces providing green areas and children’s play facilities (see Children’s play
space). Additional provision, including indoor sports facilities, a swimming pool, active
sports play (in Gas Holder 8 and elsewhere), residential amenity and habitat space will also
103 Design changes have been made to the northern entrance to the site which addresses
the Mayor’s previously expressed concern that this entrance from the north could be
understated. There is also, to a limited extent, a cluster of taller elements suggested in the
illustrative layout, which is supported. The GLA, although disappointed at the prevalence of
long, low blocks, supports the maximisation of these opportunities, outside the view
management protection framework, as the topography of the land would support this
approach and enhance views south towards the two mainline stations.
104 In previous comments the Mayor expressed concern in relation to the lack of private
space as few plot depths appeared to allow for this. These concerns have been addressed to
some degree by additional ‘greening’, such as Handyside Park. However, the GLA supports
Camden Council in seeking to increase further the provision of roof-top gardens and the
preparation of an Open Space Strategy. Stratford City provides an effective model for this
strategy, identifying strategic principles for the provision of residential amenity space. This
should also demonstrate ‘illustrative’ examples of provision.
105 In previous comments the Mayor expressed support for the possible provision of a
pedestrian link across the rail lines at the rear of King’s Cross Station, as a means of
improving the scope for east-west movement across the site. This application makes
allowance for this route, but consent is required from Network Rail. The GLA will continue
to support this link, through this and future applications, including the forthcoming
Network Rail application for KXSE.
106 In relation to the proposed layout south of the canal the Mayor raised concern that
the perceptual importance of the north-south route could be diluted by not providing a
central visual route through the site between the Granary and the interchange. The
amendments do not fully address this point by reinstating a central route. However, in
response to this criticism, the applicant has strengthened the secondary route through
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 19
‘Pancras Square’, thereby enhancing the visual connection with the Granary through this
London Development Agency
107 The Agency supports the proposal given the potential economic and regeneration
benefits, and the major contribution towards employment and housing targets for the King’s
Cross Opportunity Area. The Agency is significantly involved in the surrounding area
through its King’s Cross–Finsbury Park Area Programme and a range of other financial and
professional commitments (detailed in Appendix K). However, the Agency considers that
further information and/or commitments should be sought in regard to the following issues.
108 The LDA welcomes the Regeneration Strategy submitted with the outline planning
application. As stated in the Strategy, King’s Cross Central will have local, regional and
national impacts. The Agency therefore welcomes the applicant’s intention to work in
partnership with local councils and other partners over the next twenty years. This
approach will be critical to ensure that King’s Cross Central:
Responds to changing social and economic contexts.
Links with the emerging LDA Kings Cross Regeneration Strategy.
Achieves the desired step change to local conditions and perceptions.
Links physically, economically and socially to the surrounding area.
109 The applicant should clarify how this partnership will operate, with milestones for
its establishment and implementation of the Strategy detailed as part of the section 106
commitments. The partnership should provide a mechanism for input from the GLA Group
and the LDA specifically, where necessary.
Nature of Employment Space
110 The Agency is keen to understand the applicant’s intentions as they emerge on the
nature of employment space provision. This includes a breakdown of anticipated sectors and
type of occupiers, details on development phasing in relationship to the construction and
occupancy of other elements of the scheme (particularly residential) and the current and
anticipated marketing strategy. The Agency is also keen to explore with the applicant the
nature of employment and business uses to the north and south of Regent’s Canal.
111 In addition to space already set aside for community and cultural uses, the applicant
should consider the inclusion of space suited to the needs of the creative sector (e.g.
workshop space), and how that space could be maintained in the longer-term. Given the
emerging role of King’s Cross St. Pancras Station as a ‘Gateway to Europe’, the proposal
also affords a significant opportunity to showcase UK industries, perhaps through display
space at key accessible locations.
112 The partnership proposed in the Regeneration Strategy would be a useful vehicle to
maximise the opportunities associated with creative and showcase industries, with appropriate
input from all partners including the LDA. However, to ensure the viability of such uses and
space in the longer-term, the borough councils and the applicant should also ensure that
appropriate support is provided through the section 106 agreement.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 20
113 The Agency welcomes the applicant’s acknowledgement that King’s Cross Central
would act as a catalyst for economic clustering and further business diversity. Recent LDA
research – Unlocking Potential: Business Incubation Facilities in London – highlighted a potential
shortfall of business incubator space in the order of 300,000 sq ft in London, with unmet
demand overwhelmingly clustered in central London. There is particular demand for
general lab space, light engineering space, wet lab space and flexibly fitted space to support
life and biological science, IT, engineering, and medical uses. There is also potential for a
business hub and/or business centre in the King’s Cross area. The partnership proposed as
part of the Regeneration Strategy should therefore explore the potential for small and
medium enterprise business facilities of this kind development is brought forward on the site.
In the interim, the borough councils and the applicant should ensure that the proposal
enables and encourages these uses, potentially in partnership with local research and tertiary
institutions, to maximise opportunities available in the area. Appropriate longer-term
support for business facilities of this kind should also be addressed as part of section 106
114 The LDA anticipates working closely with the applicant in collaboration on the
issues of incubator/workspace, specifically the amount of space, pricing and the impact on
the surrounding area. It also expects to adopt a similar approach on the Agency’s priority
sectors. The Agency has a variety of initiatives in place in this area and expects these to be
used through the Regeneration Strategy to enable benefit to flow from the development into
the surrounding deprived neighbourhoods.
Employment and training
115 Given the volume of space indicated in the outline application, the Agency seeks
assurances that the building programme is sensible relative to demand. The office element
of the proposal should be periodically reviewed to ensure that supply is bought forward
relative to changing demand. Islington and Camden Councils and the applicant should
provide for periodic review and adjustment of the mixture of uses being brought forward at a
given time and retain flexibility to, if necessary, adjust the mixture of employment uses relative
to changing demand patterns during construction.
116 To ensure that local residents benefit from any jobs created, initiatives to create
training opportunities for local people and to address other barriers to employment should
be formalised through an agreement between the applicant and Islington and Camden
Councils. This agreement should also ensure that no other barriers to employment emerge
during the course of the development. It should, for example, ensure that childcare and
education facilities are matched to local demand and provide for additional provision where
gaps emerge (e.g. through the King’s Cross Child Care Initiative). The agency is happy to
contribute to discussion about how best to support existing initiatives such as King’s Cross
Working, Tracks to Employment and other King’s Cross specific provision through the section
106 agreement or other means.
Construction and renewable materials
117 The section 106 agreement should address the use of local and regional businesses
during construction and in support of the completed development. The use of local and,
given the scale of development, regional labour and skills during construction should be
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 21
encouraged through a multi-agency approach to training and employer links. This
programme should build on the King’s Cross Working programme already in place for the
CTRL construction stage at St. Pancras Station. In addition, the applicant should consider
and address the issue of worker accommodation during construction.
118 Where possible construction materials should be sourced locally and/or regionally
and the applicant will need to demonstrate appropriate use of water and/or rail freight for
the transport of materials and goods to the site. Given the scale of development, the
applicant should consider opportunities to reuse material wherever possible (particularly at
other parts of the redevelopment.
Community facilities and children’s play space
119 In previous comments the Mayor asked for further clarity in relation to the
community facilities proposed. The revised development specification provides this clarity
by identifying a broad range of community facilities, as follows:
Public health and fitness facilities, including a 25m swimming pool.
Public bicycle interchange/storage facilities.
A public indoor sports hall, providing four x standard badminton courts/one
basketball court/ one volleyball court/ one 5- a-side football pitch, plus reception,
changing, circulation and related facilities, for example cafe areas and children’s soft
play. The sports hall building may also accommodate meeting space for local
A primary health walk-in centre of up to 750sq.m.
A primary health care centre of at least 1,250sq.m.
‘Flux Park’ play facilities and open space, within Gas Holder no.8.
A Local Equipped Area for Play (LEAP) and Local Area for Play (LAP) within the
proposed Handyside Park, including facilities to support disabled children’s play.
A two form entry primary school of at least 2,100sq.m.
A multi use games area of at least 630sq.m.
A children’s centre of at least 645sq.m. incorporating nursery, drop-in/crèche,
medical and other facilities within development zone T.
120 Since May 2004, the applicant has developed further the design concept for the gas
holder number 8 guide frame (see picture below), which would be re-erected within
development zone N, enclosing new play facilities and open space. The revised development
specification proposes to develop gas holder number 8 as a ‘Flux Park’- a flexible public open
space for local residents, local schools and others, providing a high quality and stimulating
environment for innovative play and relaxation and a diverse programme of cultural,
educational and leisure events, games and activities, all of which is welcomed.
121 The Flux Park concept is intended to: “maximise public access to and the educational
potential of, the historic structure of the gas holder and provide local, national and international
organisations with opportunities to help programme events and activities. At ground level, Flux Park
would incorporate a flexible, hard playing surface, suitable for ball sports and other events. Informal
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 22
amphitheatre style seating; storage space for outdoor/demountable play and sports equipment; function
space (for community use) and toilet facilities could also be provided”.
SOURCE: Argent King’s Cross Ltd
122 These facilities could be incorporated into the design of a multi functional, high
technology ramp, 3-4 metres wide, passing round the internal perimeter of the gas holder
guide frame and affording the park a degree of enclosure. The ramp could provide two
public platforms, the first at first floor level (above the function space) and the second 5-6
metres above ground floor level, with views over the Regent’s Canal. The two platforms (up
to 400sq.m.) and ground floor function facilities could generate income to help support a
diverse programme of Flux Park events. Provision of the ramp and platforms, etc. would be
subject to applying for, and obtaining, additional Listed Building Consent, in due course.
123 Since the Mayor’s original Stage 1 report, the applicant has submitted an access
strategy, which is welcomed. This acts as a useful signpost document to inclusive design
and the applicant’s approach. However, the statement raises a number of concerns in
relation to the overall approach to inclusive design and whether or not Policy 4B.5 of the
London Plan, which expects all future development to meet the highest standards of
accessibility and inclusion, will be met.
124 The GLA welcomes the setting up of an access forum, comprising members of the
London Access Forum as a means of engaging and involving local community groups. It is
unfortunate, however that the applicant has not been involved in this group. The GLA
would encourage the applicant to take part in this group so that the access strategy has
direct input from local community and user groups.
125 The strategy states a commitment to inclusive design and to the application of ‘best
practice standards’. In some instances it is not clear that best practice standards would be
applied, with heavy caveats in places. The standards being applied to the Olympics provide a
good template for the application of overarching strategic principles and may provide a
useful template for King’s Cross.
126 With regard to parking for retail space in the south, the access strategy states that no
provision will be made, but does not explore how this issue might be satisfactorily resolved.
For instance, the applicant could consider a shop mobility scheme for the entire site with
central parking for disabled users. In relation to other transport and parking conflicts raised
in the strategy, the GLA recommends the applicant prepare a detailed Transport
Accessibility Plan, at the appropriate stage, to explore how access will be managed across
the site. This should be secured through the legal agreement. This should also deal with
visitor parking, as well as access to the various uses across the site. Overall, the strategy
does not go far enough in exploring solutions to the conflicts flagged up and the GLA would
welcome further discussions at this outline stage to resolve these issues satisfactorily.
127 In relation to Policy 3A.4 of the London Plan (all new housing should be to ‘Lifetime
Homes’ standards and 10% to be wheelchair accessible or easily adaptable) the applicant
states that these standards will be applied where practicable. Detailed justification will be
required at later stages as to why Lifetime Homes standards can’t be applied, such as
through detailed access statements. The applicant states that wheelchair accessible housing
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 23
will be subject to market testing. This is not an acceptable approach to the policy as a
commitment to provision at this stage allows for changing demand across housing tenures.
128 The GLA would welcome further discussions in relation to the approach adopted as
well as a number of detailed comments relating to secure by design, public toilet provision
and landscape materials. Further work is required if the scheme is to achieve the highest
standards of inclusive design and accessibility, in line with the London Plan.
129 The ‘Volume 5’ supplement to the original environmental statement on noise and
vibration concludes in 24.9.40 that the revisions to the proposals do not affect the predicted
noise and vibration effects of the development. The following comments are therefore
similar to those contained in the report to the Mayor of 13 October 2004, with the addition
of a new paragraph (below) on the newly proposed wind turbines and district heating/CHP
systems and some minor changes to wording.
130 Despite the large scale of this project and its lengthy construction period, there
appear to be no major strategic noise concerns, in principle, with the proposals, in light of
the mixed-use nature of the proposals. However, given the lengthy period over which this
project will be constructed and the number of significant noise and vibration sources in and
around the sites, the applicants should make a commitment to apply best practice,
contemporaneous noise standards during the detailed design phases. This would enable the
(revised) environmental statement to be accepted at this outline stage, despite the lack of
detailed designs, some data on future noise sources and, hence, a limited noise impact
assessment. Such a commitment is especially important in respect of guidance such as
PPG24, which is currently under revision.
131 The Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy also encourages the incorporation of positive
acoustic features and soundscape enhancement, especially relevant to large projects of this
nature. This will be particularly relevant to the single-aspect nature of the buildings
abutting the railway line into St. Pancras station. A commitment from the developers to
design to the highest acoustic standards both internally and in terms of the external public
spaces would be welcome.
132 The commitment to zoning to avoid potential noise conflicts, in line with the Mayor’s
Ambient Noise Strategy, is welcomed. As a matter of general principle (and in line with the
Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy), it is desirable to utilise single aspect designs for noise–
sensitive buildings potentially exposed to high levels of noise, locating at least the habitable
rooms on quieter facades, wherever possible. This point is further strengthened on the
Triangle site by the uncertainty over the noise levels that will be generated by Thameslink
133 While the proposals for renewable energy are welcome, it is noted that the noise
assessment of the wind turbines appears to rely on source noise levels measured at the foot
of the pylons, which may not enable accurate prediction of the noise at more remote
locations. Although it seems unlikely that the turbines will give rise to significant noise
impacts at sensitive locations, it would be advisable as far as possible to confirm this by a
more in-depth assessment, such as mapping noise contours, during the detailed design phase.
It would be unfortunate if the turbines’ noise impacts in practice gave rise to adverse
comment from occupants of the development. The potential noise impacts from the newly
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 24
proposed district heating/CHP systems do not seem to have been considered and this should
also be addressed at the appropriate stage.
134 A number of other strategic planning concerns relating to noise were raised in the
earlier report to the Mayor in 2004 and these remain relevant. These are found in Annex I
of that report dated 27 October 2004.
135 Accompanying the proposals is an Environmental Statement Supplement (Volume
5). This supplement includes a consideration of the environmental effects of the construction
phase of the development, and the environmental effects of the development in operation.
Both the technical and non-technical summary has been reviewed. The technical summary
includes a specific section on transport (part 24.3) and air quality and climate change (part
24.10). This appraisal has considered the changes anticipated as a result of the amended and
revised proposal, and the original proposal, for which some commentary from the GLA and
the borough councils appears to have been provided.
136 In relation to the amended environmental statement overall, the maximum estimated
increase in annual mean NO2 concentrations, with development, is predicted to be 0.4% (at
existing property on York Way south of Goods Way) in 2007 and 0.3% in 2020. At the
same location, the maximum estimated increase in annual mean PM10 in 2007 is 0.3% and in
2020 <0.2%. The approach taken for the assessment of affects from the development
remains unaltered from Volume 4 of the Environmental Statement, and the approach is
accepted fully. The modelling scenarios appear valid, and input data used appropriate.
137 Revisions and refinements to the proposal (section 22.1.3 within section 22.1 on
Evolution of Proposals since May 2004) appear likely to provide a positive impact on local
air quality, particularly those revisions listed as follows:
Changes to access and circulation routes within the scheme, including the
removal of general traffic from a number of areas and the incorporation of Urban
Wind turbines, infrastructure for ground source heat pumps, and solar panels for
the production of renewable energy are now incorporated.
Impacts from construction
138 Section 23.1 provides some clarification in respect to concerns raised by
Environmental Health Officers with regards to impacts from the construction phase of the
development. The response to concerns over the need for commitment to environmental
protection above and beyond legislative requirements is dealt with by stating that specific
measures are proposed in Part 4 of the Environmental Statement. The borough councils
should satisfy themselves that these measures satisfactorily address previously expressed
concerns. Part 4 provides a comprehensive list of measures assumed to be implemented by
the applicant. The list includes detailed measures to address the storage and handling of
materials, vehicle movements and site control measures and the opportunity for further and
additional measures during construction and post operation of the development.
139 The applicant has confirmed that a worst case scenario, to the effect of works
proposed for a two year period being undertaken over a one-year period (most unlikely in
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 25
practice) has been used to consider the likely impacts over the perceived construction phase
of the revised application. No changes to the volumes of earthworks and construction
techniques are envisaged with respect to the revised plans.
140 To mitigate likely impacts from the operation phase of the development, the former
ES sets out the intention of the applicant to ensure all new buildings conform to the highest
building ratings in terms of BREEAM and Eco-Home ratings. The effect of heating
emission with the development is unlikely to be significant. The effect of heating and
cooling plant is considered in greater detail in the Revised ES, as a result of commentary
from the GLA and the London borough councils. Concern was expressed about the lack of
consideration in using alternative and renewable energy sources across the site. This aspect
of the development has been reviewed, and the applicant has committed to using wind
turbines, ground source heat pumps and solar panels to generate power on site.
141 Further to the above, there is commitment to a combined heat and power plant and
combined cooling and heat and power plant as well as a longer-term commitment to biomass
boiler use. Emissions from the proposed plant would lead to increased overall emissions of
NOx, PM10 and CO2, which would be greater than those predicted from traffic-generation,
although the revised emissions are considered to be insignificant, given their release at
142 It is recommended that the additional measures to reduce road traffic, as identified in
section 18.8 (18.8.1 to 18.8. 4) of the ES May 2004 be implemented.
Overall significance of revisions
143 Following a review of the revised statements on air quality, the revised proposals do
not pose any strategic planning concerns in respect of impacts on local air quality. The
revisions indicated a further commitment to energy efficiency and alternative energy
production on site, although this will lead to an increase overall in emissions of NOx, and
PM10 across the site.
144 Overall, then, the revisions respond satisfactorily to all the points raised by the
Mayor in respect to likely air quality impacts, assuming all mitigation measures and
proposals outlined in the original ES and revised ES are implemented.
145 Under the arrangements set out in article 3 of the Town and Country Planning
(Mayor of London) Order 2000 the Mayor has an opportunity to make representations to
Camden and Islington Councils at this stage. If either Councils subsequently resolve to
grant planning permission, it must allow the Mayor an opportunity to decide whether to
direct it to refuse planning permission. There is no obligation at this present stage for the
Mayor to indicate his intentions regarding a possible direction, and no such decision should
be inferred from the Mayor’s comments unless specifically stated.
146 There are no financial considerations at this stage.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 26
147 Substantial progress has been made in reaching resolution on the strategic planning
concerns previously raised by the Mayor in relation to transport, retail, regeneration,
accessibility, open space and design. The applicant has worked closely with the GLA group
to address the Mayor’s concerns and the amendments to accommodate the Cross River
Tram and a bike park within the development are particularly welcomed.
148 The applicant’s imaginative approach to child play space provision is also welcomed
as is the commitment to a wide range of community facilities to support a development of
this scale and nature.
149 However, the following strategic planning issues remain outstanding and the
proposals are unlikely to be acceptable unless these issues are addressed before the
application is referred back to the Mayor for a decision:
The maximisation of affordable housing provision in response to the Mayor’s policies on
affordable housing and his strategic target of 50% as well as issues relating to housing
mix, space standards, affordability and tenure.
The need to demonstrate compliance with London Plan energy policies, particularly
relating to the provision of renewables.
In the absence of a listed building consent application for the Great Northern Hotel for
the Mayor’s consideration, the GLA seeks further assurances that a satisfactory solution
for pedestrian movement in the southern hub is not rendered incapable of achievement if
the present application proposals were to be permitted.
The outstanding issues raised by the London Development Agency and the need to
adequately capture the employment benefits flowing from this development in the s.106
Further clarity on the design rules being prepared as part of the outline consent and how
further attention to design will follow.
Further details of proposed mitigation measures for biodiversity impacts arising from
works to Camley Street Park or agreement of an alternative east-west route to the
satisfaction of all stakeholders, secured through legal agreement.
The access issues raised in the report, including the overall approach to inclusive design,
and the policy requirement for 10% wheelchair accessible housing.
150 Further work is required on detailed matters relating to noise, air quality impacts
and the outstanding issues raised by Transport for London before the applications are
referred back to the Mayor for a decision.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 27
for further information, contact Planning Decisions Unit:
Giles Dolphin, Head of Planning Decisions
020 7983 4271 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin Wilson, Strategic Planning Manager (Development Decisions)
020 7983 4783 email email@example.com
James Farrar, Senior Strategic Planner, Case Officer
020 7983 6589 email firstname.lastname@example.org
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 28
Transport Assessment of Underground and Rail Capacity
TfL undertook a series of Railplan tests for 2021, using the agreed transport demand for the
development. These tests used trip distributions based on the strategic models and
incorporated the background growth assumptions implicit in these models. Rail capacity
enhancements were based on the Mayor’s London Plan. Sensitivity tests were also
undertaken, in particular looking at the impact of only committed (funded) schemes being
available in 2021 and the impact of Crossrail 2. Further details are given below and the full
appraisal is set out in TfL’s technical report Summary of the Assessment of King’s Cross Central
Development using Railplan.
Three 2021 scenarios have been assessed to determine the incremental effects of different
employment assumptions at KXC:
2021 LTS (B5.10) employment assumptions Base Case (6,900 jobs)
2021 LTS London Plan assumed employment growth (17,100 jobs)
2021 Full development with abstraction from Central London (25,890 jobs)
The rail capacity enhancements included in the Railplan LTS B5.10 network include the
schemes promoted in the London Plan, for example Crossrail 1, Thameslink 2000, PPP
upgrades on the Underground and extra capacity on overground rail. Normally the 2021
network includes Crossrail 2, but this was not included in the core tests, for compatibility
with the Transport Assessment1 undertaken for King’s Cross Central development.
Tests with Crossrail 2 were undertaken as a sensitivity test and showed that it would reduce
underground line loading substantially in both the Base Case and Full Development
scenarios. Other sensitivity tests looked at an extended bus route to Finsbury Park and
relying on committed (funded) schemes only. The latter is discussed further below.
‘London Plan’ Assessment
Figures showing underground and National Rail crowding ratios in 2001 and for the Base
Case and Full Development in 2021 are presented in The Summary Report. (Note crowding
levels above 1.50 are considered to represent high levels of congestion and London
Underground station management measures are often required to manage flows.) TfL does
not have access to detailed National Rail passenger loadings, the absolute crowding ratios
are therefore less reliable than those for the Underground, but the relative changes are
The results for the base case show that by 2021, with the expected growth of London in
terms of jobs and population and improvements to rail capacity sought by the London Plan,
there would be increases in crowding on the Victoria line and the Piccadilly line into King’s
Cross. Crowding on the Victoria line between Highbury & Islington and King’s Cross
increases from 1.44 in 2001 to 1.60, which means passengers would be experiencing a high
level of congestion. Crowding on the Northern line into Euston and King’s Cross remains
about the same.
1 King’s Cross Central Transport Assessment Arup April 2004
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 29
Allowing for Full Development (25,890 jobs) at King’s Cross (and allowing for some
redistribution of employment across London to keep a constant total) results in further
increases in crowding on the Victoria Line in both directions into King’s Cross. The
Victoria line southbound into King’s Cross increases from 1.60 in the base case to 1.61.
There is also increased use of the Piccadilly line and Northern line southbound into King’s
Cross. There is a reduction in the number of LUL southbound passengers from King’s Cross
on the Piccadilly line and Northern line, as King’s Cross is now a destination for a number of
passengers, rather than a transfer point for onward travel to central London.
The London Plan assumes capacity enhancements to the National Rail Network and by 2021
Railplan shows some relief to overground services into King’s Cross/St Pancras because of
this. With Full Development at King’s Cross development, line loadings increase on
Thameslink services into King’s Cross, from the south by 1,200 passengers. There is a
smaller increase from the north, partly due to the redistribution of trips.
The Integrated Kent Franchise (IKF) using the Channel Tunnel Fast Link (CTRL) will be
running in 2021 and this service is expected to be well used. The London Plan Railplan
model assumes 8 trains/hour and shows adequate capacity. However the IKF is currently
proposed to be only 6 trains/hr covering a wider area of Kent. (Note the IKF service is
expected to operate with a premium fare, but this effect is not modelled in Railplan, therefore
the actual numbers are expected to be lower than that estimated by Railplan.)
The Railplan analysis indicates that in 2021 the public transport network, with the planned
improvements, will still be crowded, but, on the whole, it can be expected to cope with the
additional demand placed upon it by the King’s Cross Central development. There are some
reservations in respect of National Rail‘s ability to serve additional development-related
demand, as TfL does not have open access to National Rail data against which to form a
Bus services to the site are expected to be heavily used, particularly from the Kentish
Town/Tufnell Park areas. Railplan shows that around 15% of development trips will use the
bus, which is compatible with the developer’s overall mode split of 20% for bus and walk.
Crossrail 2 Sensitivity Test
One sensitivity test looked at the introduction of Crossrail 2. This would reduce
Underground line loading substantially in both the Base Case and Full Development
scenarios, as it provides additional onward capacity at King’s Cross.
Committed Schemes Sensitivity Test
A key sensitivity test for the assessment of increased demand arising from King's
Cross Central is the test that uses the Committed Schemes Network for 2026. This
network includes only those schemes which are currently funded. The key differences
relevant to King’s Cross/St Pancras between the committed network and London Plan
2021 network are listed below:
No Thameslink 2000
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 30
No Thameslink 2000 Midland Road station at King’s Cross/St Pancras
No Crossrail 1
No Crossrail 2 (although this is not assumed in the main case)
No Cross River Tram (CRT); (the bus services which the CRT replaces are
retained in the committed schemes scenario)
The Integrated Kent Franchise (IKF) is included, rather than the initial CTRL
Domestic service which assumes 8 trains p/hour between Ashford and St Pancras.
The IKF service pattern extends throughout Kent and therefore has more stations
with direct links into St Pancras. It assumes 6 trains p/hour into and out of St
Pancras. It is expected to operate with a premium fare.)
No National Rail reliability/capacity improvements
The results of the Full Development with the committed network are shown on plots C1.a-
C2.b in the Summary Report. The results show significant increases in crowding ratios on
both Underground and National Rail services compared to Full Development with London
Plan improvements (except for Crossrail 2). The significant increases are outlined below.
Underground crowding ratios on the Victoria line southbound increase to 1.67
(from 1.61 – already heavily congested.)
Crowding on the southbound Piccadilly line increases to over 1.50.
Crowding on the Northern line into King’s Cross increases but stays below 1.50,
but crowding southbound from King’s Cross increases to 1.80.
Crowding northbound from Victoria also increases to 1.80.
These levels of crowding indicate significant increases in congestion compared to today. In
2001 the highest crowding ratios generally achieved were between 1.60 to 1.65, one line
exceeded 1.80 and that was the Northern line between London Bridge and Bank. Under the
Committed Schemes scenario in 2021, the highest crowding ratios increase to between 1.7 to
1.9. At these levels of demand London Underground will need to manage flows into stations
and onto platforms to maintain safe operation. Station closures and associated queuing and
time delays can be expected to increase.
Comparing Full Development with Committed Schemes to the Base Case with Committed
Schemes shows increased crowding on the Victoria and Northern lines into King’s Cross. On
some southbound Underground services out of King’s Cross there is some slight relief in
crowding, due to King’s Cross now being a destination and due to redistribution of trips
caused by holding employment trips constant across London.
Key increases in National Rail passenger volumes and crowding relate to Thameslink
services and links into London Bridge, Blackfriars and Victoria. TfL does not have access to
detailed National Rail passenger loadings, the absolute crowding ratios are therefore less
reliable than those for the Underground, but the relative changes are relatively robust
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 31
Growth in passenger numbers on Thameslink in to King’s Cross is small, as a result of the
lack of capacity increases, but the crowding ratio southbound into King’s Cross increases to
2.26, because of the lack of additional capacity (under this sensitivity test scenario) provided
by Thameslink 2000. This is an increase from 2.23 in 2001, on what is already
acknowledged to be a very crowded service.
Overground rail services into London Bridge show increased crowding to 2.90, crowding
into Waterloo/Blackfriars increases to 1.90 and crowding into Victoria increase to 1.67.
The new Integrated Kent Franchise into St Pancras is expected to be well used. It is
planned to operate with a premium fare, but this effect is not modelled in Railplan, therefore
the actual numbers are expected to be lower than that estimated by Railplan.
Committed Schemes Conclusions
The results of the committed schemes tests show that Thameslink is essential to cater for
increased demand by 2021 including that generated by the proposed King’s Cross
Development. The capacity it provides is required to relieve current and future
overcrowding on national rail links and the underground into and across London. TfL
therefore considers it is imperative that all stakeholders should continue to provide positive
support and pressure on the Department for Transport for the early implementation of
Thameslink 2000 capacity improvements.
0347JF02 King’s Cross Central UPDATE page 32