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Judge brings forward King's Cross judicial review citing 'urgency of case'

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Campaigners against Argent's massive King's Cross regeneration scheme have had their legal appeal against the plans fast-tracked by the High Court.

Citing the urgency of the situation, High Court judge Mr Justice Collins ordered a 'rolled-up' hearing, whereby The King's Cross Railway Lands Group's (KCRLG's) appeal for judicial review of Camden Council's decision to grant planning permission and the actual judicial review itself will be heard at the same time.

He also ordered that no listed buildings or buildings of historic interest should be demolished before the hearing. The KCRLG claimed Argent had been hoping to start demolishing historic buildings within weeks.

KCRLG chairman Michael Edwards, said: 'We are not trying to challenge the planning decision, as we cannot do that, but we have been told by our legal advice that we have a very strong case.

'We will be arguing that Camden's development control committee was misled into passing the scheme by its own development targets, and by the previous Labour leadership, which has since changed following the last local elections.'

Argent boss Roger Madelin, said: 'We are disappointed with this decision by a small, vocal group of people to seek permission for a judicial review for our consents.

'Argent and its partners have spent seven years working and consulting on this scheme, talking to thousands of people about the vision and benefits King's Cross Central will bring to the area.

'We have received approval for the development at local, regional and national level; met local, regional and national planning polices and we have the resounding support of English Heritage.

'There are various procedural hoops which must be gone through before a challenge can be progressed. In the meantime we have outline planning permission and heritage consents for the main site. Therefore we are continuing to work on our detailed plans for King's Cross Central.'

The hearing will take place some time in April.

by Richard Vaughan

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