Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


Drapers: Hammerson drops profits and turfs people out of homes

"Property firm Hammerson has reported a 9.2% drop in profit before tax to £329.4m as it experienced a drop in relation to property revaluation gains.

"For the six months to June 30 the business’s revenue from its joint venture projects fell from £183m to £121.1m.

"However stripping out valuation changes adjusted earnings per share increased 13.3% to 13.6p.

"However its portfolio experienced 2.1% like-for-like growth in net rental income, which was up to £159.5m from £146.9m for the same period in 2014.

"Sales across Hammerson's UK shopping centres increased by 2% as footfall grew by 1.2%. The firm said its UK shopping centres’ estimated rental value rose by 3.3% on a rolling 12-month basis to the end of June.

"During the six months Hammerson opened new restaurants at Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow. It is also on track to open a centre in Beauvais in France, and retail parks in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales and Rugby this year.

"In London the compulsory purchase order inquiry process for its joint venture with Westfield at Croydon has been completed. The compulsory purchase order process has been initiated at Brent Cross for the proposed extension and planning amendments have been submitted for The Goodsyard development in Bishopsgate.

"Hammerson's portfolio is valued at £7.9bn spanning 12 European countries and comprising investments in 22 shopping centres, 21 convenient retail parks and 15 premium outlet villages.

"David Atkins, Hammerson’s chief executive, said:
"The business has performed very well in the first half, underpinned by robust consumer confidence and an active asset management strategy resulting in sector-beating earnings growth of 13%. Our prime assets continue to attract retailer demand from some of the most sought after brands, lifting ERV growth across the portfolio.

Looking ahead, the business is well positioned to benefit from continuing momentum across our key markets and to deliver attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders."


More progress on the back of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent! "Outer London boroughs outperform central areas for first time in 10 years"

Link to "South China Morning Post"

"As land and development opportunities become fewer in prime central London, it really is no surprise that the outer boroughs are showing greater investment potential. With more developers taking on major regeneration schemes and government investment in infrastructure projects, whole districts of London are being transformed and are offering exciting and lucrative opportunities for those willing to look further afield.

"While there is no disputing that London remains the world's capital when it comes to property investment, savvy investors should be considering new, previously overlooked pockets of London in order to maximise their returns.

"... Boroughs like Barnet and Redbridge are still growing, and so can offer bigger rewards long term. Experiencing an annual growth of 14.5 and 15.4 per cent respectively, both boroughs have been invigorated with investment for various new housing projects that will enhance the existing communities and appeal to the growing number of Londoners moving out to zones 4 and 5 to get more for their money.

"With plans to deliver 28,000 new homes over the next 10 years [not to mention the LAST ten years], the fourth largest housing target in London, Barnet is offering plenty of options for investors. Where many buyers will be guided towards Brent Cross where there is £4.5 billion (HK$54 billion) worth of redevelopment happening [happening?], Edgware, just four more stops along at the end of the Northern line, is better value with prices as much as 17 per cent lower."

Hammerson, the evil property barons! "Elderly residents face eviction to make way for Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme"

Link to "Barnet Times"

"Elderly people living in a sheltered housing block will be evicted to make way for the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme.

The Rosa Freedman Centre, in Claremont Way, Cricklewood will be torn down next year so the area can be redeveloped.

A day centre on the site will close on July 24, and the 25 residents currently living in the sheltered housing, run by Barnet Homes, will be moved to sheltered blocks across the borough.

"... David Howard, chairman of the Federation of Residents’ Associations of Barnet, criticised the plans."


Channel 4 News and Hammerson's Brent Cross Cricklewood Development

Channel 4:
"Not in my backyard? 
Not any longer. 
People will lose the right to object to new homes being built nearby, under new government plans to overhaul the planning laws."

... So David Howard, of the Federation of Residents Associations of Barnet, was interviewed about Brent Cross:
"Yesterday I was asked to give an interview for Channel 4 News on the Brent Cross Cricklewood development. However, as you can see, while the interview was supposed to be about the Brent Cross redevelopment, they cut out most of the BXC stuff except for my arm flailing around doing semaphore. They added a few questions about the planning changes announced yesterday at the end, which is what made the news.

"That was the only political bit of the interview. Good job I had read the papers that morning.

"So here is my 20 secs of glory on Channel 4 news last night. It was filmed on the narrow road bridge over the 10-lane North Circular Road with Brent Cross in the background. The interview was about 10 minutes long but took 45 minutes to film because of interruptions from streams of pedestrians."

Click for Channel 4 catchup, then item 6


Guardian Comment is Free: "It’s too late to save our world, so enjoy the spectacle of doom"

"The business world is right – let's just get on with the third Heathrow runway, and the extinction of all life on Earth while we're at it – why delay the inevitable?"

Link to web site

"In the middle of a week of record temperatures, as if unaware of the irony, the business community celebrated the consolidation of its attempts to force the government's hand to agree to a third filth-generating runway at Heathrow, tipping all species on Earth towards extinction. Everything will die soon, except for cockroaches, and Glastonbury favourite the Fall, who will survive even a nuclear holocaust, though they will still refuse to play their 80s chart hits.

"In Norfolk on Thursday, the tarmac melted, and ducklings became trapped in sticky blackness. When a lioness whelped in an ancient Roman street, Caesar thought something was up. Here, solid matter transmuted to hot liquid and swallowed baby birds whole. How surreal do the signs and warnings have to become before we stop in our tracks? Are whales required to fall from the sky? Does Tim Henman have to give birth to a two-headed cat on Centre Court?"

The Observer: "If London is so wretched, why do so many of us want to live here?" [In reply to previous week's article, also posted here.]

Link to web site

"In last week's Observer, this paper's architecture critic, Rowan Moore, wrote that 'London is eating itself'. He argued that rising house prices, a fast-growing population and billionaire foreigners are making life increasingly difficult for the inhabitants of the metropolis.

"As someone living in a rented basement flat, I can certainly identify with Mr Moore's argument about how hard it is to get on to the housing ladder in our capital. A big part of the reason I left my dream job at Downing Street after nine years working in the public sector was that I couldn't see a way to own a home in London without a drastic change in my financial circumstances. That's not how things should be.

"But what was missing from Mr Moore's elegy for doomed London was a proper explanation of why, given the hideous costs involved, so many of us choose to live in the cramped city. Or, to put it another way, why, in the same week that he wrote despairingly about our capital, did the Guardian commentator Jonathan Freedland proclaim it 'the world’s greatest city'?"


Amid the Corruption of the London Borough of Barnet: The Observer: "London: the city that ate itself"

"London is a city ruled by money.
The things that make it special
– the markets, pubs, high streets and communities –
are becoming unrecognisable.
The city is suffering a form of entropy
whereby anything distinctive is converted
into property value.
Can the capital save itself?"

Link to web site

" 'London is without question the most popular city for investors,' says Gavin Sung of the international property agents Savills. 'There is a trust factor. It has a strong government, a great legal system, the currency is relatively safe. It has a really nice lifestyle, there is the West End, diversity of food, it's multicultural.' We are in his office in a block in the centre of Singapore and he is explaining why people from that city-state are keen to buy residential property in London.

"He's right – London has all these qualities. It has parks, museums and nice houses. Its arts of hedonism are reaching unprecedented levels: its restaurants get better or at least more ambitious and its bars offer cocktails previously unknown to man (coconut seviche, for example, where, as its makers put it, 'coconut gin is swizzled through crushed ice with yuzu, passion fruit and a dark chocolate liqueur, and served long with an accompanying 'shot' of tuna seviche with a tamarind ponzu'). In some ways, the city has never been better. It has a buzz. Its population keeps growing and investment keeps pouring in, both signs of its desirability. As its mayor likes to boast: 'London is to the billionaire as the jungles of Sumatra are to the orangutans. It is their natural habitat.'

"At the same time, to use a commonly heard phrase, the city is eating itself. Most obviously, its provision of housing is failing to keep up with its popularity, with effects on price that breed bizarre reactions at the top end of the market and misery at the bottom. Thousands are being forced to leave London because their local authorities can't find them homes and people on middle incomes can't acquire a place where anyone would want to raise a family."

Link to The Observer

"Tory right-to-buy plan threatens mass selloff of council homes"

"Two large purple signs stand outside a half-built block of flats off Caledonian Road in King’s Cross. 'Twenty new council homes are coming', they announce. 'All new homes offered to local residents first … High quality homes for council rent.'

"James Murray, 31, executive member for housing and development at Islington council, looks up at the four-storey site on the edge of the sprawling Bemerton estate and admits his signs may be telling a lie. It looks as if the speculators and landlords will be moving in instead.

"During the general election campaign, the Conservatives offered 1.3 million tenants of housing association houses and flats the chance to buy their homes at a discount as part of David Cameron’s pitch that he could deliver “the good life” for voters. The pledge went down well on the doorsteps, and in theory the extension of the popular Thatcher right-to-buy policy was cost-free.

"But Murray and others see a heavy price looming. Local authorities in inner London now believe they will have to sell every new council home they build, as soon as they are ready, to finance the general election give-away. It could, they say, be the death knell of the council home."

The Independent: "Driving a car is getting cheaper and cheaper while trains and buses just keep getting more expensive"

"Driving a car is getting cheaper and cheaper while trains and buses just keep getting more expensive"

Link to web site

"Driving a car has continued to become significantly cheaper at the expense of bus and rail passengers, official figures show.

"Despite regular warnings by car lobbyists of a ‘war on the motorist’, between 1980 and 2014 the cost of motoring fell by 14 per cent – but in the same period, bus fares increased by 58 per cent.

"Rail travel has also become dramatically more expensive, with comparable ticket prices rising 63 per cent.

"The current government has failed to reverse the trend, with the cost of motoring falling 5 per cent since 2010 but bus and rail passengers facing rises of 2 and 6 per cent respectively.

"Policy under the current Government has tended to privilege motorists at the expense of people who use public transport."

City Metric: "In London, 'regeneration' all too often means 'social cleansing'"

Link to web site

"Ten years ago, if you asked pretty much anyone living in social housing if they’d like to see their estate regenerated, it's likely they would have said yes. New kitchens and bathrooms, new windows, lifts that work – what’s not to like?

"And if you said that, actually, you wanted to knock the whole lot down and rebuild it, but that residents could live somewhere else for a while before returning to a spanking new flat, they'd probably reason that they were still getting a decent deal.

"But if you said you were going to knock the whole lot down, evict the social tenants and use Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) to pressure owners into accepting derisory offers; if you reneged on your promise to provide homes for residents to return to, while flogging as many flats as possible to the luxury end of the market – well, you might expect them to be a bit aggrieved, wouldn't you?"


Questions to the Mayor: Can Hapless Hammerson manage widening the North Circular Road?

Navin Shah (21-May-2015):
Do you share the worries expressed at the TFL Finance & Policy Committee meeting of 22 January 2015 in handing over the implementation of some Brent Cross Phase One major road changes to developers?

What is the risk involved, and what is the worst case scenario?
The Mayor (21-May-2015):
The TfL Finance & Policy Committee (F&PC) considered the risks and reinforced the need for strong controls by TfL in relation to the developer delivering the works. The principal risk is of traffic congestion (during construction or when the new development is fully populated) reducing highway performance and bus service reliability. Other risks include default or performance issues on behalf of the developer, and the impact of wider integration with other TfL programmes.

To mitigate these risks a strong and capable Project Sponsor team has been established within TfL, as endorsed by F&PC. As the detailed Design Work progresses, the team is ensuring that TfL's requirements are clear and deliverable and give assurance, guidance and support to the developer. In later phases the team will further assure the delivery by the Developer, minimise disruption to transport services, and manage interfaces with related projects.

TfL, the London Borough of Barnet and Highways England will confirm the requirements in detail and embed these in the Section 278 Highways Act Agreements that the developer will need to adhere to in order to work on the public highways. This and other legal powers will give TfL effective capabilities to ensure satisfactory delivery, including step-in powers in the worst case of developer default.

John Lewis store move will require massive capacity-increasing but unsustainable road schemes at Brent Cross

"The John Lewis Clearance is now on with hundreds of offers across three floors of fashion, beauty, homeware and electricals!

You'll find John Lewis on the Upper and Lower Malls.

Offer Ends [what offer?] On 31st July 2015.


The Guardian: "Revealed: how developers exploit flawed planning system to minimise affordable housing"

"The release of a ‘viability assessment’ for one of London’s most high-profile developments – seen exclusively by the Guardian – sheds new light on how developers are taking advantage of planning laws to ramp up their returns"

Link to web site

"... Seen exclusively by the Guardian, the document sheds new light on why so little affordable housing is being built across England; why planning policy consistently fails to be enforced; and why property developers are now enjoying profits that exceed even those of the pre-crash housing bubble.

"In the last decade, London has lost 8,000 social-rented homes. Under the Tory-led coalition, the amount of affordable housing delivered across the country fell by a third – from 53,000 homes completed in 2010 to 36,000 in 2014. Much of the reason lies hidden in these developers’ viability assessments and the dark arts of accounting, which have become all-powerful tools in the way our cities are being shaped.

"It is a phenomenon, in the view of housing expert Dr Bob Colenutt at the University of Northampton, that 'threatens the very foundations of the UK planning system'; a legalised practice of fiddling figures that represents 'a wholesale fraud on the public purse'. What was once a statutory system predicated on ensuring the best use of land has become, in Colenut's and many other experts' eyes, solely about safeguarding the profits of those who want to develop that land."


Capita think tank: Public sector solutions

With huge tranches of public sector land from both central and local government offering development opportunities, Property Week brought together some of the sector’s leading experts to discover how industry can work with officials to make the most of development and regeneration opportunities.

Capita Public Sector Think Tank

Stephen McDonald, director of place at Re (a joint venture company between London Borough of Barnet and Capita)
Paul Marsh, head of projects and finance at Regeneration and Investment Organisation (RIO), UK Trade & Investment
Gareth Blacker, head of transactions, Homes and Communities Agency
Paul Sargent, chief executive and co-founder, Queensberry Real Estate
Shane Dineen, director of property, health developments, Capita
Paul Clark, director, development consultancy and agency, real estate, Capita
David Parsley, contributing editor at Property Week, chair

Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald

David Parsley, Property Week: We’ve just had the news from Greg Clark, the new secretary of state for communities and local government, that all government departments have been instructed to release land for the construction of 150,000 new homes by 2020. Is this a step in the right direction and will it apply to local councils?

10 July - 2 Sep: "Watch the traffic on the North Circular drift past as you sip your drinks and play on our beach"

Link to web site

"The Beach Brent Cross will give you all the very best in 21st century entertainment whilst retaining the traditional seaside spirit. What do you want when you visit the coast? Great weather (no promises there!) but what else?

"... Open every day from 12 noon to 10pm, entry £3 and then you can buy tokens for rides at £1.20 each or ten for a tenner to use on the rides, plus you can purchase ice cream, hot dogs, soft and slightly harder drinks as well as teas and coffees for when it is a bit chilly!"

Broken Barnet: "Sacred Ground, and a Savage Beauty: a return to West Hendon"

(West Hendon shares the same
'Supplementary Planning Framework' as Brent Cross.)

Link to web site

"Mrs Angry has written a lot about the West Hendon 'regeneration', over the last year or so.

"... This development had been originally intended as a genuine act of regeneration, for the benefit of the residents of the council estate, but under the direction of the Tory council, here in Broken Barnet, has become something utterly different, a travesty of the idea of regeneration: a profit-driven luxury development on public land given away, in secret, to the developers for the token sum of £3.

"And those residents duped into agreeing the regeneration on the basis of being given new homes, and a better quality of life? They are being driven out of West Hendon: in some cases out of the borough."


Chicago's New Elevated Bikeway (not the Hammerson/London Communications Agency 'Living Hell bridge' at Brent Cross, then)

"Following in the footsteps of the High Line in New York City, Chicago opened a 2.7-mile elevated park, which has already been extremely popular in its first week. Here we round up the initial reactions to The 606, as the new park is called.

" 'Chicago's long-awaited bikeway and elevated park, The 606, opened last weekend (on 6/6, no less) to a rush of pedestrians and cyclists who were eager to test out the new 2.7-mile trail after years of planning, design and construction,' according to Chris Bentley.

"The 606, formerly called the Bloomingdale Trail, 'is as much a highway for bikes as anything else, due in part to its having been largely funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program'."

Link to AN Blog web site


Good New on House Prices: "Housing market grinds to a halt as sales hit lowest level since 1978"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"House prices could rise by a quarter in the next five years, a report predicts today after finding the number of homes for sale has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1978.

"The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warns of an 'acute shortage of supply' as Britain's ageing population of home owners moves less frequently and focuses instead on helping their children on to the housing ladder.

"Each surveyor had just 52 for-sale properties on the books in May, the organisation found, the lowest monthly figure registered in nearly four decades."


[Reposted] 2009: Brent Cross Railway: The Wilderness Years

'Barnet Times':
Link to the Barnet Times
(map shows possible eventual 2009 scheme -
before diversion to Old Oak Common Crossrail in the west,
and reaching Alexandra Palace Crossrail 2 in the east,
 began to be promoted)

"The light-rail, or electric tram, will ease road congestion, as well as reduce climate change, say the Campaign for Better Transport backed by Barnet councillors Geof Cooke, Labour, and Conservative John Hart.

"In Barnet Council’s Local Development Framework, published in June last year, poor transport links within the borough were identified as a key challenge in the borough’s growth.

"A meeting to discuss the plans is to be held at Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, this Wednesday at 7.30pm."

'Barnet Eye' web site:
"Trams for Barnet - Sense at last !!!"

(Click above to enlarge)

Link to a 2009 post (and comments)
on Barnet Eye.

"One of my biggest objections to the various regeneration schemes in Barnet is the lack of infrastructure. Looking at these plans, it seems that maybe, at last, a bit of thought is being put into addressing some of these issues. What is interesting about these plans is just how much of the scheme is utilising, disused or underused existing railways. 

"One of my biggest bugbears is just how difficult it is to get across the borough, East to West. Since the demise of Edgware general, people wuch as my aunt who lives in Mill Hill, have a nightmare journey to get to Barnet Hospital. This scheme, if fully implemented would make this journey far easier, with a connection from Mill Hill Copthall to Finchley Central, then a tube trip to Barnet. 

"Linking the two branches of the Northern Line (Colindale to Finchley Central) is a masterstroke. It is also worth noting that it makes many school trips far more practical using public transport. This scheme is good for the environment, good for the travelling public and good for Barnet businesses. As such I fully support it."

December 2011: 
More up-to-date light-rail proposals start from west London's Old Oak Common High-Speed-Two/Crossrail station, via Brent Cross (with a branch to Wembley) then Colindale, Mill Hill East, Finchley Central, and the North Circular Road corridor to New Southgate and Arnos Grove.
'Transport for London' has suggested a new 'Crossrail 2' line, from south-west London to Alexandra Palace. An interchange with that might be the terminus - or light-rail could continue, following the North Circular Road further eastwards.

A 'Phase One' scheme would likely be around either Brent Cross or Old Oak Common. Hammersmith & Fulham Council wants light-rail at Old Oak Common, as shown in its Sir Terry Farrell video.

The vast majority of the 'North and West London Light Railway' route would be along existing freight railway corridors, old railway track-beds, and the North Circular Road. Two tunnels would probably be needed - to cross the M1 motorway (which was built on the removed railway track) and east of Arnos Grove.

There is more information on the TRANSPORT page.


Brent Cross Shopping Centre: "Hugo Boss - Sale"

"We are pleased to invite you and a friend to our exclusive Sale Preview."

Monday 8th June 2015 – Friday 12th June 2015

"Please bring this personal invitation with you to receive the special discount of 25% on Spring and selected Summer lines." [Er, that's it. So good luck with that.]

Terms & Conditions
"Discount available at selected BOSS stand-alone stores in the UK and Ireland, on Spring and selected Summer 2015 lines, excluding basics, eyewear, helmets, fragrances, mobile accessories, watches. Exchange only on items bought with discount.

"Offer Ends On 12th June 2015."

"The German fashion house succumbed to
mounting pressure from unions, pension funds, politicians
and Hollywood celebrities, canceling its controversial plans
to shut down an Ohio suit factory"

Hugo Boss plant will stay open with new owners,
saving 160+ jobs

The Economist: "How renewable energy can become competitive"

Link to web site

"On 2 June, a group of scientists and economists announced plans for the launch of what they call the Global Apollo Programme in the hope of making new solar capacity cheaper than new coal-burning power plants by 2025. Countries which sign up to the project will promise to spend 0.02% of GDP on research into renewables, for a initial $15 billion in public spending. (Publicly funded research is currently $6 billion world-wide.)

"By comparison, the authors argue, the original Apollo moon programme cost a total of $150 billion in today’s money. Saving the planet, they argue, requires similar effort. But can renewable energy really make much of a difference?

"... Yet opponents of renewables say the level of subsidies involved shows that wind and solar investments are just boondoggles, salving the conscience of the green-minded and cossetting politically connected companies. That is true up to a point—governments have probably spent too much money on first-generation technology which is inefficient and expensive compared with what is now becoming available. But all energy is subsidised one way or another; users of fossil fuels don’t pay for the damage they do to the planet. Subsidies to renewable energy are around $100 billion a year."


FMag: "Hammerson unveils new identity"

"The developer is unveiling its new brand identity, a logo marking the culmination of its decision taken in 2012 to refocus its business on commercial real estate. [Which is presumably why it contributes a net reduction in housing stock in Barnet, before it clears off.]

"In place of its previous brand identity, which was adopted in 2006, Hammerson has now substituted two white squares forming an invisible 'H'. The image 'is underpinned by its vision of creating leading retail destinations, where more happens for consumers, and retailers alike,' according to the company.

"Hammerson manages a network composed of 22 shopping centers and 22 retail parks, not to mention investments in 15 European outlets. The total represents 2.2 million sq ft of commercial property valued at around 10.4 billion euros (7.7 billion pounds). Its flagship project in France, the Terrasses du Port in Marseille, attracted 12 million visitors in its first year."

Hammerson's Brent Cross restaurant (bless)


PERC: "New ebook: Forging Economic Discovery in 21st Century Britain"

"As part of PERC’s efforts to develop a new platform to advance the contemporary study of political economy, we present our first eBook.

"Drawing on a wide range of academic and non-academic experts, this collection of essays explores the changes that need to happen in our understanding and analysis of the UK economy. Authors speak to the groundswell of interest in wrestling 'the economy' away from elite policy circles and developing a new collaborative research agenda where the economy is a human, rather than abstract, endeavour."

The Guardian: "A more radical approach to debt: do nothing"

"IMF economists explore radical approach for states with large public debts – if the cure is worse than the disease, why not just live with the debt?"

Link to web site

"One of the most obvious legacies of the global financial crisis is the sharp increase in public debt. Countries scrambling to avert the collapse of their economies or banking systems built up stocks of debt at a pace previously unseen during peacetime.

"Attention has more recently turned to how quickly that debt should be paid down. In the UK, Chancellor George Osborne has made cutting the national debt as a share of GDP a key pledge.

"But now economists at the International Monetary Fund have explored the potential merits of a more radical approach to all this debt: doing nothing at all. In other words, 'just live with it', they propose."


Thu 4 June: Legatum Institute: "London Needs to Build the Right Housing—Not Just More Housing"

"The Legatum Institute and Create Streets will host a livestreamed panel with Evan Davis, housing experts and some of London's prospective mayoral candidates, as they discuss how to solve the capital's housing crisis and boost well-being by building homes people want to live in"

"In some ways the solution to the housing crisis is easy: build more, lots more. But, this has never been politically easy—hence the plethora of programmes to boost demand not supply.

"So the debate moves on to: how do we build homes that people love so that unlocking that supply becomes politically easier? Do we need to regulate what we build based on people’s preferences, with less focus on how we build it? And is there a way to solve London’s housing crisis without the controversy that we are currently creating?

  • Cristina Odone, Director of Communications, Legatum Institute
Introductory Remarks and Presentation
  • Evan Davis, Presenter, BBC Newsnight
  • David Lammy, MP for Tottenham; London Mayoral Candidate
  • Ivan Massow, financial services entrepreneur; London Mayoral Candidate
  • Yolande Barnes, Director, World Research, Savills
  • Toby Lloyd, Head of Policy, Shelter UK
  • Thursday, 4 June, 2015, 18:00 for 18:15 start, followed by a drinks reception
  • Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street, London, W1J 5DW
  • This event is now full, however, the discussion will be livestreamed. Details below. For enquiries, please contact Emily Callaghan.

Hammerson and Barnet grab Cricklewood's Clitterhouse Farm

From Clitterhouse Farm Project:
"During the public planning consultation held in the summer of 2013 we rallied together and with your help - 'saving the farm for community use' - was raised as the second highest priority area for the community. At the planning committee 30th January 2014 councillors and the developers recognised the buildings as a potential valuable community resource. In October 2014 in a meeting with Hammerson and Barnet we were informed that the buildings were to be retained. Since then we have had numerous meetings and negotiations with the council and Hammerson where we have made it clear that it is our intention to restore the entire site for community use.

"The latest amendments to Barnet's reserved matters application - which includes the farm - show that they want to take buildings and external courtyard space for a park maintenance depot (see image).

"If you would like to download the relevant documents, click this link:
It will automatically download a ZIP file of three PDF files. Search for the word ‘farm’ in the PDF to find the relevant sections.

"Clitterhouse Farm Project will be strongly objecting to these plans on just some of the following grounds (below).

  • A maintenance depot with heavy machinery is not ‘community use’. Our community has lost several valuable assets already such as Hendon Football club and the green triangles on nearby Brent Terrace and potentially the green space outside B&Q on Cricklewood Lane. We cannot afford to lose another space to this development. We need these spaces to meet and interact and form the backbone of a strong and cohesive community

  • This proposal damages the financial viability of our community project by severely reducing the usable space within the site and may jeopardise our prospects of accessing funding the refurbishment of the buildings. Clitterhouse Farm Project has built financial projections - based on information in previous planning applications that stated that the parks team would need 2,800 sq feet of the farm site. This amendment represents a significant increase in that area by 1,200 sq feet and undermines the financial sustainability of an important community enterprise

  • Removing such a large section of the courtyard damages the unique architectural quality of the Victorian farmyard. We value the heritage of the building and feel that design layout undermines them

  • There is an inappropriate and incompatible use of space. A large depot such as this will represent a health and safety risk. The size and scale of the depot is unacceptable given its proximity to our proposed community facilities, Claremont primary school, the entrance to the playing fields and the nearby residential buildings

  • The consultation process has been very poor. Local residents and community groups have been given too little time to respond to the lengthy and detailed plans. In this instance we have had seven days to respond by the time we were informed of the latest consultation and the impending deadline on the 5th June

  • The detailed design plans of the farm should be treated as a separate planning application so that the community can be engaged in a genuine consultation process.

"Please take five minutes to respond and have your say. Feel free to expand if you feel we have missed any important points. Your voice is important. If you have an opinion on this issue, you need to speak up. Do not copy and paste this text as your comments will be ignored.

"Email your objections directly to Thomas Wyld: thomas.wyld@barnet.gov.uk using reference 15/00769/RMA, and copy to planning.consultation@barnet.gov.uk."


"Hammerson rebrands and relocates" (still an arrogant sow's ear, though)

Brent Cross, London
Brent Cross is a UK retail success story. Located in one of the UK’s most affluent catchments, it has a loyal and partisan customer base which thrives on having access to the best of both UK and international brands.

"Located at the junction of the M1 motorway and the London North Circular, it is [a car-based site] well positioned to serve the 2m people within its core catchment area [by car] who spend approximately £9.9 billion on non-grocery items. The area is identified as a key national growth zone [No, it's not. You surely don't mean the Budget mention by George Osborne, do you?], and the site has planning consent for additional retail and leisure space of 600,000 sq ft, to be delivered in a transformational development over the next five years.

"Brent Cross has one of the largest retail catchments in the UK, and is the largest asset by value in the Hammerson portfolio."


"To mark the final part of its shift in becoming a purely retail-focussed property specialist, Hammerson has today launched a new brand proposition to accompany the move of its UK headquarters into new premises at Kings Place in King’s Cross.

"Hammerson’s new brand identity is the visual manifestation of its continued focus on a strategic brand proposition which fits the Company’s strategic approach and is underpinned by its vision of creating leading retail destinations, where more happens for consumers and retailers alike.

"The new branding strategy provides a clear proposition and brand framework that builds in consistency across the Company’s activities at a corporate and asset level. As appropriate, Hammerson’s new look and feel will be implemented across the Company’s portfolio of shopping centres and retail parks within Europe.

"The new brand is adaptable, providing flexibility to be used across consumer or commercial stakeholder audiences and importantly, allows individual assets to benefit from a visible corporate brand whilst retaining their iconic identities.

"Hammerson’s reinvigorated brand will be showcased at its new headquarters in Kings Place, King’s Cross. The new 24,000 sq ft office on the sixth floor of Kings Place, will see Hammerson become part of a vibrant central London hub, which has rapidly become a sought after spot for a range of international businesses, including fashion retailers and media companies.

"The new office, which is targeting a SKA Gold rating, will provide staff with a contemporary, modern and agile working environment that reflects Hammerson’s retail focus.

"David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson said:
"Over the last three years we have realigned our strategy to become the largest retail-focused property company in the UK, redefining the core of our business. Combined with our move to Kings Place, this year was the opportune time to reappraise the way we present Hammerson – both externally and internally – and to implement a new brand identity that embodies our retail DNA.

“Integral to our brand proposition is our focus on creating a consistent and engaging experience for customers and retailers across our portfolio, whilst maintaining the iconic status of our individual assets. This rebranding exercise marks the final strategic phase in our journey to become retail specialists and clearly defines what Hammerson stands for amongst our stakeholders."