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King's Cross Railway Lands Group (KXRLG)

Argent St George Outline Planning Application 2004 for Kings Cross Central (the Kings Cross Railway Lands): Environmental Statement: summary by KXRLG

This summary of the Kings Cross Central Environmental Statement (ES) submitted with Argent St George's outline planning application for the Kings Cross Railway Lands has been prepared by the Kings Cross Railway Lands Group for the benefit of its members who may wish to respond to the respective local councils (Camden and Islington) who have to process the application. The summary gives the briefest of resumÈs and an outline of the structure with no comment but with occasional quotes from the text.

The Environmental Statement (ES) consists of 4 volumes of 19 parts and a Non Technical Summary. Volume 1 contains the Main Report and volumes 2 to 4 contain specialist reports that relate to the Main Report. The Main Report is 444 pages long (in PDF) and it is accompanied by 11 specialised reports (many of which have a number of appendices) that are also summarised here.

The Specialist Reports address the following topics: Heritage and Townscape; Archaeology; Urban Services; Socio-Economic; Health (which includes unemployment, crime, social capital, air quality, road traffic accidents, noise, and health services); Nature Conservation; Water Resources; Soils and Contamination; Noise and Vibration; Air Quality and Climate Change; Microclimate.

Volume 1:

The Main Report is in 8 parts and they are:

01. Introduction

27 pages long. It says that the Applicants propose a "Comprehensive, phased, mixed use development of the former railway lands within the Kings Cross Opportunity Area, as set out in this development specification" and then goes on to say that when they say "the site" they mean the main Camden site and the Islington Triangle together. It then says that Argent will be submitting another planning application for the linear land, that is the land between the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) line between St Pancras and the Islington Tunnel and the North London Line, in the near future. That application will have a separate Environmental Impact Assessment with it.

Part 1 then goes on to explain the format of the Environmental Statement, lists the consultants employed to prepare their supporting Specialist Reports, sets the ES within the context of planning policy and discusses the objectives under topic headings. The headings are:

Economic; Transport; Heritage; Ecological; Resource use; Design; Community.

This is followed by a description of its approach to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which sets out the legislative framework, an explanation of the scoping exercise that was undertaken before the ES was prepared, a description of the methodology used including how it has assessed effects and a resumÈ of the public consultation undertaken to inform the development of the proposals and the EIA.

This section concludes with a map of the site boundaries.


02. The Site

11 pages, one aerial photograph and 2 maps. This section describes the site, its existing land uses and its surroundings. It also lists the environmental designations such as Conservation Areas and Archaeological Priority Areas, likely changes to the site and the surrounding area after the completion of the CTRL and other local works, a table of the assumptions about when these works finish and the date of implementation of other structures/services such as the Kings Cross Station enhancement and the Cross River Transit, says that it assumes a final end date of the project of 2020 and gives a brief consideration of the future of the site if the development should not take place.


03. The Proposals

29 pages, 8 pages of maps and the timeline of documents produced by Argent and the authorities. The first section of this part describes the evolution of the proposals (of the development of the Railway Lands) since the year 2000, why the development should be high density, includes a brief discussion of environmental issues and then goes on to explain the framework for development concentrating on different parts of the site in turn. Then it returns to environmental issues.

Section 2 of this part summarises the proposals through the development specification for the main site, the parameter plans and the 22 development zones the site has been divided into. It then talks about the Public Realm, the buildings to be retained and those to be demolished, the environmental performance expected of the new buildings, landscape proposals, and off site works. A general description of the development follows with the parameter plans for the Islington Triangle (3 main development blocks), the amenity space and public realm, other uses and environmental performance and sustainability. This section finishes with a consideration of the approach to the construction process, the construction period and temporary uses ("There may or may not be opportunities ...")


04. Environmental Effects at the Construction Stage

57 pages and 2 pages of graphs. This part was prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS. The introduction admits that environmental effects are inevitable during construction and it says that waste production and disposal will also be considered in this section. Methodology and Criteria for this part of the assessment are stated next and reference is made to the Highways Agency's Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Guidelines which is used to define the main area considered which is that within 100 metres of the site. A definition of what is meant by "significance" is also given here.

The description of the consultation process since 2002 follows and then the existing situation is described and a table of locations and resources which may be affected by the works is followed by the baseline conditions of these "receptors" (the locations and resources) in 2006/7. Proposals for the approach to the construction process follow under the headings:

Site Investigations, Demolition Techniques, Earthworks, Basement Construction, Piling Techniques, Bridge Construction, Building Superstructure, Public Realm and Off-site Infrastructure.

It then says that the identification and assessment of construction effects have taken into account normal or otherwise agreed control measures for the different environmental topics and lists the assumptions that were made and says that "the likely environmental effects of construction have been assessed on the basis of 'worst case' scenario." The examples given are:

Construction Traffic, Movement of earthworks material from site, Movement of infrastructure materials to site, Movement of construction materials and plant to site, and Movement of employees.

Part 4 then goes onto assess the effects under different headings using in each case the formula: brief introduction, assumptions, worst case, assessment of effects. The headings are:

Heritage and Townscape; Archaeology; Transport; Socio-Economic; Health which includes Unemployment, Crime, Social capital, Air Quality, Road Traffic Accidents, Noise and Health Services; Nature Conservation; Water Resources; Soils and Contamination; Noise and Vibration; Air Quality and Climate Change; Microclimate; Urban Services; Waste; Effects without Triangle Site; and Effects with LUL Phase 2 and Kings Cross Station Enhancement.

It concludes with sections on Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures and Monitoring and then gives a Summary which includes a table (4.5) of Kings Cross Central Construction Effects. These are stated to be all either minor or negligible except for one (Air quality and dust) that is moderate.


05. Environmental Effects at the Operational Stage

190 pages, 10 maps, one page with two photographs and numerous tables. This part was prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS. It describes the environmental effects on the area after the development is complete and addresses those issues which are further supported by specialist reports. These are:

Cultural Heritage and Townscape; Archaeology; Transport; Socio-economics; Health; Water Resources; Soils and Contamination; Noise and Vibration; Air Quality and Climate Change; Microclimate; Urban Services.

All but Transport have Specialist Reports in the volumes that follow volume one in the Environmental Statement. Transport is addressed in 3 other supporting documents: Transport Assessment, the Green Travel Plan and the Illustrative Highway Proposals. The Preamble states that "Should there be any inadvertent inconsistencies between the content of Part 5 and the Specialist Reports, the Specialist Reports take precedence and should be relied upon by the reader."

The issues are each addressed under different combinations of the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7; Evaluation; The Proposals; The Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: Summary.


06. Terms and Abbreviations

Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS. The Glossary is a little more than 4 pages long, the list of abbreviations is two pages long.


07. References

Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS. There are 12 pages of references, mainly bibliographical but including some websites. They are set out under the relevant headings used in the previous parts to this volume after the initial heading General.


08. Appendices

Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS. There are three appendices to volume 1. They are:

8A. Key Scoping Responses Table ... summary of main issues raised by consultees

8B. Other Initiatives and Development Schemes That Could Result in Potential Changes to the Site and its Surroundings by 2006/7.

8C Traffic Data (provided by Arup)

Volume 1 has 44 figures of illustrative material in all, largely photographs and maps.


Volume 2:

09. Cultural Heritage and Townscape Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.1 of the Main Report.

106 pages, 8 Appendices, 13 tables, 42 figures (maps, views and illustrations) accompanying the main text, 11 historic maps in Appendix B, site plans and photographs in Appendix D, and 8 maps in Appendix G. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by International Heritage Conservation and Management; RPS and Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7; Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References.

The Existing Situation reports under the headings: geology and topography; land use; heritage; topographic framework; designations (conservations areas, listed building and other buildings); building groups (4); open spaces; building materials; historic surfaces and materials; trees; views; overall character of the site 2003/4; character sub areas.

The appendices are:

A. Consultee Responses to Draft Historic Character Assessment

B. Topographic Framework

C. Key Features of the Existing Buildings

D. Tree Survey: 2004

E. Character Areas - References

F. Contribution to the Conservation Area

G. Character Sub Area Descriptions

H. Detailed Assessment of Effects on Character Areas

This heading is also found in paragraph 6.4 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.51 - 6.56 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


10. Archaeology Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.2 of the Main Report.

29 pages, Parameter Plan KXC 016 Basements, 11 tables. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by International Heritage Conservation and Management.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The Existing Situation reports under the headings: background history; archaeological designations and works; ground conditions; archaeological finds and records.

This heading is also found in paragraph 6.5 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.57 - 6.62 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


Volume 3:

11. Urban Services Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.12 of the Main Report.

30 pages, two tables, 4 maps. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The Existing Situation gives an overview of the networks of power, water, foul sewage, gas and telecommunications; the associated table of mitigation measures repeats these headings and adds "waste."

This heading is also found in paragraphs 6.32 to 6.36 (with para. 6.37 referring to waste) of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.131 - 6.133 (with para. 6.134 referring to waste) of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


12. Socio-Economic Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.4 of the Main Report.

74 pages, 2 appendices (3 pages), 6 figures (mainly graphs) and 36 tables. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The six figures address employment, claimants, dependence, unpaid care and notable offences. The 36 tables address everything from dwelling tenure and qualifications of working age residents through the projected population change and estimated employment growth to housing targets and child population forecasts.

The two appendices are:

A. Employment density ratios

B. Employment tables.

This heading is also found in paragraphs 6.7 and 6.8 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.79 - 6.92 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


13. Health Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.5 of the Main Report.

61 pages, 3 appendices, 22 tables, 2 maps associated with one of the appendices. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References.

The Existing Situation reports under the headings: unemployment; ethnicity and unemployment; educational attainment; proportion of homes judged unfit to live in; crime; social capital; air quality indicators; road traffics accidentsnoise; life expectancy at birth; infant mortality rate; proportion of people with self assessed good health; other health data; health inequalities and vulnerable groups.

The appendices are:

A. Determinant Health Linkages Matrix

B. Health Services Inventory

C. Traffic Accident Data.

This heading is also found in paragraphs 6.9 to 6.11 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.93 - 6.98 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


14. Nature Conservation Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.6 of the Main Report.

59 pages, 2 maps, 4 tables, 9 appendices. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The Existing Situation reports under the headings: information provided by consultees; review of reports; Kings Cross Central surveys; key nature conservation features; designated sites; other sites (all at least 400m away from the site); habitats; species; changes subsequent to surveys.

The appendices are:

A. Phase 1 Habitat Survey

17 August 2001. Ecoscope Applied Ecologists.

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

This report, appendix 1, itself contains 3 appendices. They are:

1. Phase 1 Habitat Map

2. Site Species List [84 species of fauna are listed]

3. Species List for Camley Street Natural Park : Flora of Camley Street Natural Park listed under family name compiled by Johnnie Slattery. December 1995.[360 species of flora are listed]

B. Breeding Bird Survey

30 July 2001 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

[22 species of breeding birds are listed of which 7 meet at least one criteria relating to conservation importance]

This report, appendix 2, itself contains 3 appendices. They are:

1. Additional species recorded at Kings Cross but not considered to breed on the site [17 species are listed]

2. Vernacular names of the 39 species recorded at Kings Cross

3. Map of Kings Cross showing the boundaries of the survey site

C. Black Redstart Survey 2002

7 August 2002 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

D. Amphibian Survey

17 August 2002 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

E. Reptile Survey

29 August 2002 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

F. Bat Survey

29 August 2002 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

G. Invertebrate Appraisal

8 October 2001 Ecoscope Applied Ecologists

[Contains: Notice to Interested Parties. To achieve the study objectives stated in this report, we were required to base our conclusions on the best information available during the period of the investigation and within the limits prescribed by our client in the agreement. No investigative method can completely eliminate the possibility of obtaining partially imprecise or incomplete information. Thus we cannot guarantee that the investigations completely defined the degree or extent of e.g. species abundances or habitat management efficacy described in this report].

This report, appendix 7, itself contains 4 appendices. They are:

1. Invertebrates recorded in the North East of the site, adjacent to York Way [79 species listed]

2. Invertebrates recorded on the canal banks [46 species listed]

3. Invertebrates recorded at Camley Street Natural Park [160 species listed]

4. Invertebrate sampling techniques

N.B. Para. 14.4.101 "Most of the Kings Cross Central ecological surveys were carried out during the summer of 2001, during the early stages of site establishment and clearance for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link construction."

H. Aquatic plants, habitats and invertebrates Survey

I. Relationship between Core Infrastructure Works and Principal Development Zones

This heading (Nature Conservation) is also found in paragraphs 6.12 and 6.20 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.99 - 6.107 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


Volume 4:

15. Water Resources Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.7 of the Main Report.

24 pages, 4 tables, 3 figures (maps). Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References.

The Existing Situation reports under the headings: site location and description: current situation; surface water drainage; Regent's Canal; pond in Camley Street Natural Park; flooding from rivers; water quality; groundwater; consents and licences.

This heading is also found in paragraph 21 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.108 - 6.113 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


16. Soils and Contamination Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.8 of the Main Report.

25 pages, 2 appendices, 3 tables, 2 figures (maps). Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Arup.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The Existing Situation reports under the following headings: site history; desk studies and previous site investigations; ground conditions; groundwater conditions; existing contamination; ground contamination (divided into 6 areas); groundwater contamination (divided into 6 areas); groundwater pollution migration; unexploded ordnance.("There is a minor risk that the Kings Cross Central site contains unexploded bombs from World War 2.")

The appendices are:

A. Earthworks Volumes - Likely case

B. Earthworks Volumes - Worst case

This heading is also found in paragraph 6.22 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.114 - 6.117 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


17. Noise and Vibration Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.9 of the Main Report.

21 pages, one appendix, 5 figures (maps). Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by The English Cogger Partnership.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

In the section on Proposals a number of Assumptions are listed; these include:

Contractors would be required to adopt 'best practical means' to minimise noise and vibration;

Construction noise and vibration would be controlled to acceptable limits through the relevant regulations ...;

Percussive piling would generally be avoided, but may occur under the worst case.

(These points are expanded upon and there are 3 others).

The appendix is:

A. Traffic Data (provided by Arup).

This heading is also found in paragraphs 6.23 to 6.26 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.118 - 6.120 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


18. Air Quality and Climate Change Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.10 of the Main Report.

31 pages, 6 appendices, 10 figures (graphs and maps), 32 tables. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by Air Quality Consultants Ltd.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References.

The Existing Situation reports under the headings emissions and concentrations.

The appendices are:

A. Impact Significance Criteria

B. Gas Demand Assumptions and Criteria

C. Pollutant Emissions

D. Existing Pollutant Concentrations

E. Baseline Concentrations

F. Traffic Data - 12-18 Hour Flows; 2007 Base Traffic Flows

This heading is also found in paragraphs 6.27 and 6.31 of the Construction Effects section and paragraphs 6.121 - 6.123 of the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


19. Microclimate Specialist Report

Relates to Part 5.11 of the Main Report.

24 pages, 3 appendices, 8 figures (maps, illustration). Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS.

The issues are addressed as above under the following headings: Introduction; Methodology and Assessment Criteria; Consultations; The Existing Situation; Baseline 2006/7 (Summary of Archaeological Potential); Evaluation; The Proposals; Assessment of Effects; Opportunities for Further Mitigation Measures; Monitoring: References

The Existing Situation reports under the headings Introduction; Built Form and Development Pattern; Public Realm and Open Land; Wind Environment; Solar Environment.

The appendices are:

A (1). Pedestrian Level Wind Environment Study: 2003

A (2). Pedestrian Level Wind Environment Study: 2004

B. Assessment of Solar Shading on Principal Public Realm Areas

This heading is not found in the Construction Effects section but it is referred to in paragraphs 6.124 to 6.130 in the Operational Effects section in the Non Technical Summary.


NON TECHNICAL SUMMARY

34 pages. Prepared for Argent St George, London and Continental Railways and Exel by RPS in association with Arup, Air Quality Consultants Ltd, International Heritage Conservation and Management and The English Cogger Parnership.

"This document summarises: the overall approach to the EIA; a description of the Kings Cross Central site; the approach to alternatives taken by the applicants; the Kings Cross Central proposals, and the likely environmental effects, taking into account a range of 'built in' mitigation measures.".


revised 19 07 04 me

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