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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 20 November 2008
Plan to demolish the Town Hall extension

• YOUR article (‘Homes are no longer an asset: they’re a liability’ October 30) is worrying reading, particularly when the King’s Cross development is set to be such a strategically important development that will give much needed new affordable homes for Camden residents.
The article did not, however, refer to plans by the Liberal Democrat/ Conservative administration to demolish the Town Hall extension in Euston Road and allow property developers to rebuild it with exclusive private penthouse flats. This is being considered as part of its wider property review.
Given the difficulties the property sector is facing it does seem strange for to consider this as a potential way of securing funds.
A private developer will want to maximise profits by developing as much of the site into flats, leaving very little space for offices for Camden’s staff. I am also worried as ward councillor that demolition of the extension will have a detrimental impact on the children studying at neighbouring Argyle school and cause well over two years of inconvenience to many residents who live around Judd Street.
I have encouraged the council to hold a public meeting to discuss these plans with the local community.
The meeting was originally planned to take place on November 6, but it seems that the administration is at present unwilling to lay their cards on the table and fully state their plans. I hope that they will host this meeting soon and say clearly whether they wish to commission a substantial property development.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson
Labour, King’s Cross ward

On track…

• MICHAEL Edward’s says that the development at King’s Cross has twice come a cropper as the economy goes into crisis (Forum, November 6).
He also says this time we should use the opportunity to launch a more robust and more democratic London or face another 15 years in which these wonderful 30 hectares (land behind the King’s Cross station) remain largely unused?
Mr Edwards talks about a more democratic London?
What planet dose he live on?
We are living in a highly dangerous, divided, nation in which the voices of the marginalised, the disadvantaged, along with those who are concerned about our communities and its members, are not being heard. Our democratic rights have been slaughtered and ripped to shreds over the last 30 and more years. Democracy, along with our civil rights, has become a farce, a blatant joke.
Having said this, I would also add, that Roger Madelin, head of the development company Argent, has consulted local residents and tenants on the building plans for the waste ground behind King’s Cross station.
For the last 10 years his company has set up information stalls at our yearly festival of cultures in Somers Town, attended by thousands of people from across the Camden central area. Argent has continued to share with, and listen to what our community has to say.
As it is not everyone is happy. We will always have those who are in favour, and those who are not. But I am pleased to learn the Kings Cross development project is now on track.
Alan Patterson
Chair, Somers Town and
St Pancras Art, NW1

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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