When the University of London’s plans to redevelop their student halls along the east side of Cartwright Gardens received full planning permission, it included a commitment by the University to upgrade the gardens and make them fully accessible to the public from dawn until dusk, 364 days a year for the lifetime of their stay in Cartwright Gardens. The Cartwright Gardens Community Liaison Group (CGCLG) was set up, made up of representatives of the various local interests, including Kings Cross Councillors, residents, hoteliers and other local businesses who will be directly affected by the two year building programme on this major site. Details remain to be hammered out between Camden and the University, including a final decision on the number of tennis courts to be retained for general public use.
The Council has approved the University’s proposal for a footway along the east perimeter of the gardens, which has been lobbyied for since 2010. The Council will be conducting statutory consultation on this and other improvements to the highways in Cartwright Gardens, including the installation of raised road surfaces to improve pedestrian connectivity and slow down traffic. The University has agreed to install an interpretive board within the gardens, to include details of the history of Cartwright Gardens and the notable former residents and events which have shaped its development since 1810.
There will be a lot of noise and dust during the construction period, together with serious disruption to local streets, especially on the route to be taken by the construction vehicles from Euston Road, along Judd Street and Leigh Street and into Cartwright Gardens, which will be closed to through traffic for two years, except for the quiet road round the crescent. Whilst the University’s contractor intends to mitigate the worst effects of the traffic and construction works, there will be the inevitable causes for concern to residents and businesses, which the CGCLG was set up to deal with. The developer (and Camden) are being pressed to devise a satisfactory traffic diversion scheme which avoids local streets being used as ‘escape routes’ for through traffic, to the detriment of local residents and businesses and to retain pedestrian and cycle access through Cartwright Gardens during the works.