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Camden planning chair in King's Cross hot water

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Camden's chairman of planning has been barred from any further discussions about the King's Cross redevelopment because of comments he made to The Architects' Journal.

Last week, outspoken councillor Brian Woodrow was issued with a formal legal warning by the council's monitoring officer, following investigations into bias claims.

Speaking to the AJ in September, Woodrow savaged the design of the project and questioned the decision to submit the scheme - by Allies and Morrison and Demetri Porphyrios - as an outline planning application (AJ 2.9.04).

It is also alleged he 'persistently claimed that there [was] something wrong, illegal or suspect about the planning brief', and that he telephoned English Heritage to convince them the applications 'were not valid on heritage grounds'.

The council's director of law and administration also agrees with external solicitors 'who believe there is a significant risk that councillor Woodrow will not or will not be seen to act in an impartial or objective manner in dealing with these applications'.

It is not the first time Woodrow has run into trouble for making comments in the press. He is thought to have been reprimanded after calling Grimshaw's cancer research centre in Holborn 'nothing but a glass box' (AJ 14.11.02).

Woodrow had been given until last Friday to respond to the allegations. At the time of going to press it was still unknown if he had decided to contest the ban.

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