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King's Cross scheme awarded prize for preserving history

PUBLISHED: 08:57 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 07 September 2010

ENGLISH Heritage has given developers of the £2billion King s Cross scheme an award, despite dozens of residents criticising the plans for bulldozing their favourite historical spots. The project by Argent has been listed as one of England s 20 best schem

ENGLISH Heritage has given developers of the £2billion King's Cross scheme an award, despite dozens of residents criticising the plans for bulldozing their favourite historical spots.

The project by Argent has been listed as one of England's 20 best schemes in historical places and is commended for its dedication to preserving old buildings.

The move comes in spite of a long-running campaign by local people against the plans which saw old railway housing blocks, the Culross building and one of the Stanley buildings removed.

Paddy Pugh, London's planning and development director for English Heritage, said: "Both the architects and the developers at Kings Cross showed they understood the value of this heritage site. The rest of the country can learn from this exemplary scheme in London.

"Heritage is a non-renewable resource. Once it's gone, you can't get it back."

The scheme was supported by English Heritage throughout the planning process at Camden Council. It has been commended for returning several buildings to their former glory, from industrial gasholders which will be used for flats, to the Granary Warehouse which will become the University of the Arts.

Argent director Robert Evans said: "At King's Cross we'll see 20 historic buildings and structures brought back to life, helping to define the character that will make King's Cross the best place to visit, live, work and relax in Central London."

However, campaigner Diana Shelley slammed the move: "Every time I pass where the Culross Buildings used to be I think, 'Bloody vandals.' There was a perfectly viable option to keep it.

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