The Independent London Newspaper


Waitrose set to open in historic railway lands

Published: 28 February, 2014

WAITROSE are to move into one of the historic buildings on the King’s Cross railway lands.

The supermarket is set to move into a restored Midlands Goods Shed and East Handyside Canopy in Wharf Road. It will also open a cookery school on the site.

The structures have a rich history: Queen Victoria once travelled to Scotland from the temporary passenger terminal in the Midlands Goods Shed, which was built in 1850. It was later turned into a warehouse. The Canopy, which was added in 1888, was used to transfer goods such as potatoes from the rail to horse and cart.

Developers Bennetts Associates aim to keep the Victorian style of the structure, including its robust brickwork, iron structures and intricate roof trusses.

Ernest James, chairman of the King’s Cross con­servation area advisory committee, said: “It’s better that they turn it into a Waitrose than yet another office block – those are popping up everywhere.

"Local resi­dents would probably use it as there are not many big supermarkets in the area.” He added: “Seven years after they started the planning for this area, it’s encouraging that they are finally making a start, and I look forward to seeing the historical artefacts that have been removed, reinstalled once more.

"But there is a long way to go as so many heritage buildings are still standing empty.”

Speaking about the designs, Julian Lipscombe, director at Bennetts Associates, said: “The structures have fascina­ting histories.

"Our scheme celebrates their glorious­ly idiosyncratic characters whilst intro­ducing care­fully consid­ered but con­fi­dent modern insertions to allow them to be brought back to life.”



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