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Victorian heritage site lined up for community centre

PUBLISHED: 12:23 16 October 2005 | UPDATED: 10:25 07 September 2010

Community groups may get an early Christmas present from King s Cross developers in the form of a listed Victorian building. Camden Council is trying to talk Argent into handing over the Southern Stanley Building in Pancras Road.

Katie Davies

Community groups may get an early Christmas present from King's Cross developers in the form of a listed Victorian building.

Camden Council is trying to talk Argent into handing over the Southern Stanley Building in Pancras Road.

The old tenement is currently used for social housing.

But even if the firm refuses, the council could force the handover by making it a condition of planning permission for the £2billion revamp.

The King's Cross Development Trust, which represents many local groups through its Blossom Group partnership, has been asked by the council to put together ideas for a community building.

But organisers stress it will be a facility for all local groups and envisage it will provide both office space and a meeting place.

Chairman James Goodwin said: "A housing association has expressed an interest in providing housing on the first floor so we are looking at taking the ground floor.

"It would give the existing community a foothold from the beginning of the development as we could move people in there for temporary use straight away."

Del Brenner, of the Regents Canal Network, welcomed the proposals.

"There is no provision for a community building in the development proposals," he said.

"It could be a centre where people could work from and people from the community could go and meet.

"There are so many thousands of square feet of office space and we want just a couple to be set aside."

Una Sapietis, of the watchdog Railway Lands Group, added: "We are in favour of a community asset and we would like to keep the Stanley building in social use.

"This is the first case where the council is looking in more detail at gaining a community asset.

"The Blossom Group represents lots of different local groups and wants to secure the best possible asset for all the community. This is a really important start."

Camden councillors have asked the trust to draw up a business plan they can present to Argent.

Planning officer Richard Kirby said: "Anything that goes in as a planning condition will need to be negotiated through the local authority and a business case must be made."

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk


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