The proposed orange hotel at 330 Gray's Inn Road, King's Cross, London

330 Gray’s Inn Road Tower Rubber Stamped

The enormous redevelopment scheme at 330 Gray’s Inn Road is the latest inappropriate planning application to have been rubber stamped by Camden’s Rubber Stamp Committee, sometimes also known as the ‘Planning’ Committee.

As usual, multiple objections were received from significant and insignificant consultees alike, all of which were completely ignored by Camden’s planners in recommending the scheme for approval.

Camden invited the Bloomsbury CAAC for a ‘walkabout and workshop’ with the architect, with a Camden conservation officer and a planning consultant also in attendance.

Despite an hour’s worth of detailed comments on the design in a final exhortation to make the enormous scheme at least a little less ugly, Camden’s planners didn’t ask the developer to work any of our points into the scheme whatsoever, despite such requests not materially altering the profitability of the scheme in any way at all.

It exemplifies perfectly the level of apathy and disregard now shown to conservation and consultation in a planning system which serves only to rake in millions for the council at the expense of London’s special built heritage and the people who live within it.

With ‘Acorn House’ and ‘Belgrove House’ approved and the Eastman Dental Hospital redevelopment now thoroughly underway, it seems Camden has tacitly approved a district of high rises along Gray’s Inn Road, despite it still comprising mainly Georgian terraces along its length.

The tower from Wicklow Street

UCL’s Ear Institute, immediately neighbouring the site, complained that approval of the scheme would lead to a significant loss of funding, and would impact upon ongoing research projects. But despite being within the so-called ‘Knowledge Quarter’ designed to promote scientific research, these objections were similarly brushed aside.

It seems the ‘Knowledge’ in ‘Knowledge Quarter’ is simply the knowledge that any scheme above 5 storeys proposed within it is certain to be approved.

3 thoughts on “330 Gray’s Inn Road Tower Rubber Stamped

  1. It is both sad and unsustainable that the heritage of Camden is being squandered to fuel the combined greed of developers and Labour-run Camden Council. Future generations will not be impressed with these bland, hideous buildings.

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  2. I agree – it is utterly tragic that these schemes that will deface these historic areas are being ‘rubber stamped’ by Camden, no doubt in return for mega amounts of money going who knows where. Consultations are meaningless and any opposition is totally ignored.

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  3. Height Camden Council allows another bully in – a monster tall building! But why is height so terrible? – Because height changes everything. In Kings Cross most residents live or run businesses in old or listed buildings. They are not very tall.

    Suddenly, next door a monster building is allowed, overshadowing and overseeing all. This new building will have the view. It will command the landscape and skyline. It will take over. The level playing field has gone (excuse the pun), as those in old ‘historic’ Kings Cross buildings are not allowed to change much or mow down where they live or work. They cannot compete honestly for views or ‘bigger is better’ rights like a New York City. However, probably their greatest wish is that their equilibrium was being preserved. But the truth is that Camden Council, with blind callousness, force those in their historic homes and businesses to live in the shadow of the bully. Then what about the aesthetics? Imagine a 10 storey building suddenly springing up on one of the canals that loop around Amsterdam’s central station? Thank goodness that would never get past first base there, so ingrained in the whole law of the land it is to preserve the balance, serenity and equilibrium of its beautiful city and inhabitants. Imagine Emily opening her windows in Paris to an enormous Travelodge just metres away. Kings Cross have Camden Council (well it is really just GG and her selected few, as most of the rest are just toothless lobbyists) – unthinking, incapable of seeing the big picture or future legacy, bludgeoning us with their bullies.

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