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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 17:12 GMT
Inquiry begins into market plans
Plans for Camden Town Tube station
LU says the new station would relieve congestion for passengers
A public inquiry has begun into London Underground's (LU) plans to demolish a market and church to make way for an improved Tube station.

LU says Camden Town station is outdated and too cramped to cope with the estimated future passenger increases.

It says it needs the land which houses the Camden Market, the United Reformed Church and the Electric Ballroom.

Barristers for the council, the market, and the venue squared up against LU's legal team on Monday.

The planning inspector Ken Barton will recommend whether LU should be allowed compulsory purchase powers to buy the land.

We accept that there are problems with the existing Tube station, but we don't believe that the loss of the market is an inevitable consequence of that
William Hicks QC
LU will also need planning consent to demolish the buildings, which are within a conservation area.

The company says it needs land on which to build a temporary station while the existing one is redeveloped and will need a second exit for the improved station.

It also has plans for offices, shops and homes on the plot which will provide about 10% of the development's 130m cost.

But William Hicks QC, acting for the market's freeholder Camden Lock (London) Ltd, said that course of action was "not justified".

He said: "We accept that there are problems with the existing Tube station, but we don't believe that the loss of the market is an inevitable consequence of that."

The objectors will argue that compulsory purchase powers are a drastic resort and are unnecessary.

Camden Lock (London) Ltd have commissioned engineering firm Arup to draw up an alternative plan, which would not require the demolition of the market.

The inquiry, being held at the Friends' Meeting House on Euston Road, is expected to last nine weeks.




SEE ALSO:
Market campaigners step up fight
29 Jan 04  |  London
Deadline for Camden market
30 Apr 03  |  London


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