Click above for Planning Application submission (we submit, we submit!) plus Transport page.

2014-04-23

Evening Standard: "Eric Pickles: Tear down estates to boost poor inner-city homes"


Link to web site

"Plans to create hundreds of thousands of homes in inner London were unveiled today by the Government.

"A Big Bang approach will see old estates torn down and more families housed in new apartment blocks, making the heart of the capital more densely populated than it has been for decades.

" 'Past experience tells us that mere tinkering won’t work. We need to be more ambitious,' Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told the Evening Standard. Mr Pickles was today setting out for the first time how £150-million set aside in this year’s Budget may be used to speed up the regeneration of some of London’s most neglected estates. He envisages low-rise blocks that meet modern environmental standards being built on the sites of run-down areas like the notorious [sic] Aylesbury estate in south London.

"The number of people living in the inner zone of the capital could be increased by up to 850,000, according to an analysis carried out for the Government by estate agent Savills."

The Independent: "Builders use red-tape reforms to duck deals on affordable homes"


Link to web site

"Developers are using a new law intended to cut bureaucracy and kick-start the economy to challenge their obligation to contribute to the building of affordable new homes, The Independent can disclose.

"Figures seen by The Independent show that the Planning Inspectorate is considering 10 appeals lodged by house builders which aim to cut or eliminate planning restrictions by claiming they would make schemes unviable.

"It comes amid a rebellion by some Tory-run local authorities against the policy of scrapping council-set quotas for affordable homes, and claims that the Coalition has tilted the process too heavily in the big developers’ favour.

"Of three appeals dealt with by the inspectorate to date, two have found in the developers’ favour. In the first, Redrow Homes, [the company benefiting from the Met Police strange determination to do a deal over Hendon's Peel Centre sports grounds] which recently reported a doubling of its group’s half yearly pre-tax profits to £47.5m, successfully challenged Torridge District Council in Devon over its stipulation that 60 out of 151 new homes it was planning there should be affordable."

2014-04-21

Evening Standard: "Airpocalypse now: how to solve London's pollution problems"


"It’s official, London’s choking — so how can we clean up the capital’s act? From flying superpods and bike bridges to car-sharing communities, Rosamund Urwin finds some pollution solutions"

Link to web site

"There's a map of London that reminds me of an MRI brain scan. It shows the average level of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide in the capital in 2010. Blue and green represent a low level, an aureolin shade tells you that NO2 is at the European Union’s acceptable limit, orange and red are bad, burgundy the worst. Most of central London is yellow, and there’s a predictable amber puddle around Heathrow. But the network of London’s main roads are painted a dark, boozy red — the capital’s outdoor smoking lounges.

"The air quality in London is among the worst of all the European capitals. That’s thanks in large part to fumes from diesel vehicles, which were encouraged to cut carbon dioxide emissions. So we’ve clogged our lungs trying to stop the ice caps melting. As well as NO2, particulates (minuscule bits of soot) are also cause for concern. During the recent Saharan dust episode, we saw a spike in the levels of these pollutants (the particles known as PM2.5 are especially hazardous to health as they are so small, they can travel deep into the respiratory tract).

"Air pollution is a stealth assassin, usually unseen but brutal. Poor air quality has been blamed for almost 4,300 deaths in London each year."

Barnet Times: "Do We Have a Car Crisis?"


Link to web site

"In a recent survey run by Barnet Greens among traders in East and High Barnet, the top issue cited was parking. The papers are full of parking issues, and our Mr Mustard has become a national TV star on the back of his parking-related one-man lobbying and support campaign. But is parking in reality just the loudest-squeaking aspect of a wider problem?

"One of the privileges of campaigning is talking to a lot of residents. What is the number one issue that comes up? Parking, speeding, congestion, speeding, traffic, parking on and on.

"I've come to the view that we have a car crisis that dare not speak its name. I sense there's a fear of admitting there's a crisis before an election lest one provokes the Motorist: that all-powerful constituent who has done for more than one politician."

Barnet's Mr Mustard on BBC1's 'Parking Mad'


(Mr Mustard's web site)



(video via Barnet Bugle)

[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.

2014-04-16

Thurs 24 April: Finchley Society: Finchley to Friern Barnet


FinchleytoFriernSLIDEcorrected24-4-14


(Reposted from June 2001] Regeneration & Renewal: "Barnet to draw up bid for TIF funding tool"


Link to web site

"Stewart Murray, director of planning, housing and regeneration at the London Borough of Barnet, said the council will submit a bid to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which lets councils borrow money against future business rate income, for the 20-year scheme intended to regenerate 150ha in Brent Cross and Cricklewood.

"Murray told Planning: 
"Although we have a commitment from the developer Hammerson and Standard Life Investments to deliver phase one, with such a massive scheme, there's a viability gap. [There's more than one viability gap in the Brent Cross planning saga.] If the council is able to retain the uplift in business rates, this will enable us to 'forward-fund' - or borrow against - that uplift to fund early infrastructure investment, accelerating the next phases of the scheme." [That is (convenient when it all goes wrong) public-sector, not private-sector, risk.]

Stewart Murray, Director of Planning, Housing and Regeneration of London Borough of Barnet
"Thank you most kindly to all of your team who did an excellent organisation job this week at the National Summit. I enjoyed my piece immensely and hope it was informative if not thought provoking. The rest of the Summit was overall excellent and very much down to the organisers, facilitators and great line up of speakers and participants. Well done." [We're doomed.]

Link to Barnet Press 'TIF' story:


And Mr. Director of Planning, just fancy that (two links) ...


2014-04-15

"Barnet Cabinet Member for Housing 'not fit for office' - claim"


Link to Barnet Times

"... Councillor Tom Davey made the statements on the social networking site in 2008 and 2009, but they have since been republished online via Political Scrapbook.

"In one status update the current Cabinet member for housing had suggested it might be easier to find a job if he were 'a black female wheelchair-bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women'.

"In another post he referred to 'benefit claiming scum' and said he dislikes paying for the 'lazy bastards!'

"In January 2008 he posted that he was 'more excited than Harold Shipman in a nursing home', and in March 2009 he said he was 'smacking his bitch up' adding 'that’ll teach her for ironing loudly whilst the football is on!'"

GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: Evening Standard: "Housing crisis overtakes transport as biggest concern for Londoners"


Link to web site

"The capital’s housing crisis has become an increasingly important issue on the political agenda, following the rise in prices during the economic recovery.

"House prices are now increasing more quickly than at any time since the peak of the property boom immediately before the credit crunch, figures show. The value of the average London home went up by 17.7 per cent in the year to February, a rate not seen since the 18.8 per cent recorded in July 2007 on the eve of the Northern Rock collapse. It means home owners saw their properties rise in value by an average of £63,000 — around twice median London salaries — to a record £458,000 in 12 months.

"City economists said talk of a bubble in London is now 'fully justified' as desperate house buyers outbid each other at frenzied open days to win the few properties coming on the market. The average first-time buyer property now costs £358,000."

[Reposted from Aug 2013] Off-shore tax haven company, linked to Mayfair property world, wants waste incinerator in Ealing - and at Brent Cross!




(Brent & Kilburn Times, 2013/8/22)



Another one at Brent Cross!

The Guardian: "London has become a citadel, sealed off from the rest of Britain"


Link to web site

"... The property bubble is lifting prices all over the UK, [but] London has long since left everywhere else behind. Over the past year, property values in the capital have risen by 18%, and the gap between prices there and the rest of the UK is the biggest since records began. The average monthly London rent is now £1,126.

"Having moved out in 2004, I know what this means: unless you are an international plutocrat, a highly-paid City type, or someone either clinging on in social housing or putting up with life in a shared hovel, it is an increasingly impossible place to live.

"Although the inequality London embodies is felt just as keenly inside its boundaries as outside them, the obstacles to living in the capital harden a view of it as a cut-off citadel – somewhere that not only fixes economic policy in its own interests but hoovers up public investment. The dire political consequences of this are all around us, though a capital-focused media often fails to see them."

"Report suggests 500 lives a year could be saved 'if London had Danish levels of cycling'"


Link to Evening Standard

"The lives of more than 500 Londoners a year could be saved if cycling in the capital increased to the level in Copenhagen, a major health report has claimed.

"The World Health Organisation report said that an estimated 542 premature deaths from pollution and road collisions would be avoided if 26 per cent of journeys were made by bike, the rate in the Danish capital.

"At present, only three per cent of journeys in London are by bicycle.

"As part of a 'call to action' across Europe, WHO researchers forecast that 8,196 jobs would be created in London if it could dramatically increase its cycling rate."

[Reposted from April 2013] "Around for the long-term" Hammerson selling up south of the North Circular Road! New property punter wanted!


2014-04-14

(The talentless Hammerson airheads will like this) "China's 'eco-cities': empty of hospitals, shopping centres and people"


"As part of its plan to move tens of millions of people out of the countryside, China is building hundreds of brand-new cities. Tianjin Eco-city is a relatively successful example, but many of its 'green' buildings still echo like gymnasiums"

Link to The Guardian

"Last month, China announced its new urbanisation plan, a massive feat of technical and social engineering which will move more than 100 million country-dwellers into cities over the next six years. The question is how. 

"China’s current development model has proved environmentally disastrous; ghost cities and towns have triggered fears of an impending real-estate meltdown.

"Chinese authorities began encouraging the construction of 'eco-cities' in the middle of the last decade; since then, hundreds have sprouted across the country. While the concept is vaguely defined, most eco-cities are built on once-polluted or non-arable land, comply with stringent green architectural standards, and experiment with progressive urban planning and transportation infrastructure.

"The catch is that they simply may not work – if, indeed, they get finished at all."




Link to GOV.UK
"Government offers support for locally-led garden cities"

"Communities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government to turn their ambitions into reality, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (14 April 2014).

"A prospectus published today will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, include at least 15,000 homes and have the backing of existing residents.

"There is genuine enthusiasm and ambition for growth in communities across the country, but new developments must be well-designed, and bring together high-quality homes, jobs, and green spaces in communities where people want to live raise their children.

"We want to work closely with areas which bring forward strong expressions of interest to help them develop their proposals, understand the barriers to delivery and offer government brokerage and support through the Large Sites scheme and other existing schemes where it can help to unblock these.

"Ministers believe these locally-led developments will play a crucial role in delivering the number of new homes the country needs, but it is vital that they are not imposed from above."

2014-04-13

"Banks fiddled while Rome burned: how to predict the next global financial crisis"


"Amid signs of another asset bubble, and as memories of the last crisis fade, we might be seeing the beginnings of the next crash"

Link to The Guardian

"The past week has seen a shudder pass through stock markets as investors have taken a closer look at some of the more highly valued technology stocks. Easter traditionally marks the start of the British house-buying season, and this year's begins with sales at a six-year high and prices up almost 10% on a year ago. The appetite for risk was highlighted by the demand for the five-year bonds issued by the Greek government.

"Inevitably, the talk is of bubbles about to pop, of a new speculative mania, of lessons not learnt. This talk is a bit premature but the warning signs are there.

"... There are a couple of reasons to beware. One is that central banks could leave policy too loose for too long. Dario Perkins, of Lombard Street Research, is one analyst cautioning that if the Fed leaves policy as loose as forecasts suggest, it could create new asset bubbles. The other is that in the age of Facebook and Twitter, only 'now' matters. If we have lost our capacity to remember, trouble may come sooner than we think."

London's Population: Barnet's Brent Cross to take the strain? (Assuming a naïve new punter can be found, to replace the discredited Hammerson)








"Three variants of trend-based population projections and corresponding household projections are currently available [from the Greater London Authority]. These are labelled as High, Central and Low, and differ in their domestic migration assumptions beyond 2017.

"The economic crisis has been linked to a fall in migration from London to the rest of the UK and a rise in flows from the UK to London. The variants reflect a range of scenarios relating to possible return to pre-crisis trends in migration.
  • High: In this scenario, the changes to domestic migration flows are considered to be structural and recent patterns persist regardless of an improving economic outlook.

  • Low: Changes to domestic migration patterns are assumed to be transient and return to pre-crisis trends beyond 2018. Domestic outflow propensities increase by 10% and inflows decrease by 6% as compared to the High variant.

  • Central: Assumes recent migration patterns are partially transient and partially structural. Beyond 2018, domestic outlow propensities increase by 5% and inflows by 3% as compared to the High variant."
"GLA 2013 round population and household projections" - link


"The Mayor of London has commissioned work to develop a Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London, working with other members of the GLA Group, London Councils and drawing in external expertise where appropriate.

"The Mayor’s 2020 Vision sets out the critical infrastructure required on the road to 2020 and beyond. The London Plan, which is currently undergoing further alterations, sets out London’s needs to 2036. Given the long-term nature of infrastructure planning, the next set of investments needs to be drawn up if London is to sustain and accommodate its growth for the rest of t he first half of this century.

"The Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan will set out London’s strategic infrastructure requirements to 2050 across the main aspects of infrastructure, namely public transport, roads, energy, water, waste, ICT and partially social infrastructure. Uniquely, it will also provide a bottom up assessment of London’s infrastructure requirements and the funding and financing options to pay for them.

"It will ensure the infrastructure London needs for continued economic growth is clearly articulated. Our aim is to demonstrate to the Government, Londoners and investors that infrastructure is a key priority and that London has a clear plan to ensure it has the necessary infrastructure to meet the demands of its growing population and remain a leading world city.

"This paper sets out the progress to date in developing the first Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London. It discusses the key the mes that are emerging across infrastructure types that in our view need to be addressed if London is to effectively plan for and deliver its long term infrastructure requirements. It outlines the steps we will undertake to publish a Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London by the Autumn 2014."

"Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London" - link

2014-04-12

Hammerson nearly went under in 2008-9. Will that happen to Hammerson's replacement developer at Brent Cross, after it clears off?


Link to The Economist

"What is mankind’s greatest invention? Ask people this question, and they are likely to pick familiar technologies such as printing or electricity. They are unlikely to suggest an innovation that is just as significant: the financial contract. Widely disliked and often considered grubby, it has nonetheless played an indispensable role in human development for at least 7,000 years.
"At its core, finance does just two simple things. It can act as an economic time machine, helping savers transport today’s surplus income into the future, or giving borrowers access to future earnings now. It can also act as a safety net, insuring against floods, fires or illness. By providing these two kinds of service, a well-tuned financial system smooths away life’s sharpest ups and downs, making an uncertain world more predictable. In addition, as investors seek out people and companies with the best ideas, finance acts as an engine of growth.
"Yet finance can also terrorise. When bubbles burst and markets crash, plans paved years into the future can be destroyed. As the impact of the crisis of 2008 subsides, leaving its legacy of unemployment and debt, it is worth asking if the right things are being done to support what is good about finance, and to remove what is poisonous."




Also from The Economist:

What’s gone wrong
with democracy?

"The progress seen in the late 20th century has stalled in the 21st. Even though around 40% of the world’s population, more people than ever before, live in countries that will hold free and fair elections this year, democracy’s global advance has come to a halt, and may even have gone into reverse. Freedom House reckons that 2013 was the eighth consecutive year in which global freedom declined, and that its forward march peaked around the beginning of the century.

"Between 1980 and 2000 the cause of democracy experienced only a few setbacks, but since 2000 there have been many. And democracy’s problems run deeper than mere numbers suggest. Many nominal democracies have slid towards autocracy, maintaining the outward appearance of democracy through elections, but without the rights and institutions that are equally important aspects of a functioning democratic system.

"Faith in democracy flares up in moments of triumph, such as the overthrow of unpopular regimes in Cairo or Kiev, only to sputter out once again. Outside the West, democracy often advances only to collapse. And within the West, democracy has too often become associated with debt and dysfunction at home and overreach abroad.

"Democracy has always had its critics, but now old doubts are being treated with renewed respect as the weaknesses of democracy in its Western strongholds, and the fragility of its influence elsewhere, have become increasingly apparent. Why has democracy lost its forward momentum?"

Barnet Times: "Police called in as protesters lobby MP Matthew Offord over lack of affordable housing [at West Hendon]"


Link to web site

"Police were called to keep the peace, as tens of protesters from across the capital turned out to lobby MP Matthew Offord over the lack of affordable housing in West Hendon.

Link to
'Save Our Welsh Harp'
[West Hendon is part of the same Barnet 'Supplementary Planning Guidance' area as Brent Cross Cricklewood. It is alongside the Welsh Harp reservoir.]

"Campaigners walked from the West Hendon estate to St Matthias Church in Rushgrove Avenue in Colindale where Mr Offord was hosting one of his MP Direct meetings last night.

"Mr Offord, who is the MP for Hendon, sent out invitations to a group of his constituents, but said the 'ragtag bunch' were not on the list."





Published by 'Barnet Rebel' on 12 April 2014:
"This is a 14-minute film of the protest demo in West Hendon, London NW9, where residents marched to see their MP, to discuss the 'regeneration' of their neighbourhood. Changes mean residents losing their homes, and secure tenants and leaseholders being charged thousands of pounds for 'safety improvement works', despite their homes being due for demolition.

"The MP declared the meeting 'private', and refused to meet the plucky band of concerned pensioners, children and other worried residents.

"Inevitably, the frit MP used the police as his private security and taxi service, to prevent him meeting his own constituents and suffering tax-payers. See you on the political scrap-heap of failed politicians in 2015, [Mister] Offord."



Additional report from Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' web site:

"Whose West Hendon? Our West Hendon:
MP Matthew Offord hides in a police van,
and refuses to face his own constituents"

2014-04-11

[Reposted] Cricklewood Station to close, for benefit of Brent Cross developers: Brookfield/Multiplex? (cleared out.) Hammerson? (clearing out.) GVA's Brave New Punter?



London Borough of Barnet
Cabinet Resources Committee
18 April 2013 (link)
"...GVA are also commissioned to explore potential funding strategies to bring forward critical infrastructure within the Regeneration Area, including the Thameslink Station.

"This review will be complete in April 2013, and reported to Cabinet Resources later this year"

Thameslink Station?

(North is to the left; the A5 Edgware Road is along the bottom)

That will be the:
'Cricklewood New Station'
to replace the existing:
'Cricklewood Old Station'
then! (Incidentally, it is next to part of the Brent Cross waste incinerator).


As Network Rail said, in October 2007 (source)
"Taking cognisance of the new station development, and the re-modelling of Cricklewood sidings, any work done at the current Cricklewood station would be potentially abortive cost.

The recommended option is to utilise Selective Door Opening [at the] station, configured to allow the maximum length of a 12-car train possible to stop at the existing platforms. Once the new 'Cricklewood' station becomes operational, a decision will have to be made as to the future of the current Cricklewood station."

The London Borough of Barnet and Hammerson have always vigorously denied the likelihood, or even the possibility, that the current Cricklewood station would close.

Until now:
“Concerns [were] raised at the Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee meeting of 21 March 2013 over the future of the Hendon Rail Station, as a result of new rail station proposals associated with the Brent Cross Cricklewood development.

I have had confirmation from [the LB of Barnet] Transport and Regeneration Manager who dealt with this aspect of the Brent Cross Cricklewood submission that whilst the future of Cricklewood Station could be in question as a result of the proposals, the approved scheme would not result in the closure of Hendon station."
Senior Planning Officer, Major Developments Environment, Planning and Regeneration, LB of Barnet
So it's progress - of sorts!


Broken Barnet: Question from Councillor Brian Coleman about the Re/Capita jolly to 'le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier'. (That's abroad, you know.)



Brian had one or two questions.
"Following revelations that Haringey Council spent £16,000 in Cannes, did Barnet Council have any involvement in MIPIM - or, as he explained, with a commendable grasp of French - Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier.

"Mrs Angry was not entirely certain he know what it meant, but our Brian was clearly fuming he wasn't asked, as indeed was Mrs Angry, who could do with a trip to Cannes. (Any offers, please DM. Mrs Angry is happy to pretend to be your wife, if necessary. Not yours, Brian, obviously: no offence).

"Anyway, yes, someone from the new Barnet-Crapita Joint Venture 'Re' went - no, not, as you might think, to 'Re'lax in the south of France and drink champagne on a yacht, but to ... what was it ...
to ... dum di dum,

... where is it? ...
ah! ...
to publicise the opportunity
... erm, for
... ah,
potential partners for the
Brent Cross South Development. [given that 'here for the long term' Hammerson is giving up.]


"Mmm. Bound to be shedloads of those hanging about the Croisette, desperate for a chance to flog a penthouse view of the North Circular, and easy access to Staples Corner.

"Oh: the officer from Re was 'supported' by 'a member of Capita who is assisting with the procurement activities for this project'.

"We are told: Another Capita representative attended in a business development capacity, to promote Re and its service across London.

"Why? This was a jolly aimed at property developers, wasn't it?

Video of guest speaker at MIPM,
London Mayor Boris Johnson:



"... And then: All costs incurred in undertaking the above were met by Re and Capita. Well, yes: so costs of this trip to the Riviera were at least in part-paid for by us, the taxpayers of Broken Barnet.

"On to the business items. But first a brief statement from Labour leader Alison Moore about a matter that was exciting the Tory councillors, and of course Brian, the non-aligned member, beside himself with glee at the opportunity to distract attention from the story of his [LB of Barnet] laptop, and all the open speculation that has been swirling around the borough in regard to the circumstances behind its 'disposal'...


"... At this point in the proceedings, the doors to the public gallery opened, and a woman entered with a young boy in a wheelchair. He clearly has severe disabilities, and, as his mother, who sat next to Mrs Angry, explained, he is a pupil at Mapledown School, the school near Brent Cross, which is facing cuts in budget from the council."

[Source: Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet.]



Evening Standard: "Inferior high-rises are trashing London's skyline." (Could that refer to Hammerson and 'AfterHammersonclearsoff', at Brent Cross?)


Link to web site

"In the most significant intervention in the Skyline campaign to improve the design and planning of the capital’s tall buildings, former City of London planning officer Peter Rees warned of a 'wave' of poorly designed residential towers built for maximum profit.

"Mr Rees, who spent 29 years shaping the City’s skyline, ... claimed that planning authorities were 'trapped' by ill-founded housing targets and a desperate need to secure payments to balance their budgets. He called on them to look instead to the best examples of high-density and mid-rise housing. He said:
"Residential towers do not achieve high densities, and leave unusable space on the sites which they do not fill. Those of us who feel passionate about the form and future of our amazing city are sad to see it being trashed."

2014-04-09

[Reposted from April 2013] Centre for Cities: "Is London destined to fail in its battle to meet transport demand?"


March 2014 addition (GLA data):

(Click to enlarge)




Link to web site


"It is only twenty years since London’s population began to pull out of a fifty-year decline, and future growth should not be taken for granted.

Transport congestion is one of a number of factors, alongside high house prices and rents and the future type and location of jobs, threatening quality of life in the capital.  London will not thrive unless it can manage the impact of growth as well as enjoying the rewards, keeping the capital an attractive and practical place to do business.

Over the next few weeks Centre for Cities will be holding a series of invitation-only seminars, hosted by Addleshaw Goddard, to explore the most urgent issues facing the London economy including the future of London’s transport.  We will be reporting the results of our debates in July.

Anyone who has commuted regularly in London over the last decade will tell you that the tube, the trains and the buses have never felt so crowded, and recent Transport for London figures suggest they are absolutely right."

TED video: "Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work" (Pity Brent Cross's Hammerson has the creative capacity of a gnat)



"More than 8 million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes it possible? In part, it’s the city’s great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play.

"Amanda Burden helped plan some of the city’s newest public spaces, drawing on her experience as, surprisingly, an animal behaviorist. She shares the unexpected challenges of planning parks people love — and why it's important."


GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: "Property prices in capital soar 40 per cent above credit crunch slump"


Link to web site

"Property prices in London have bounced back by more than 40 per cent from the worst days of the credit crunch, new figures show.

"In April 2009, property values reached their lowest point following the global crash that led to the collapse of financial institutions, bank bailouts and plummeting stock markets.

"But new research shows how far the recovery has come. Land Registry statistics show that across London, prices have risen 41 per cent on average, from £292,977 at the 2009 nadir to £414,356 now. Kensington and Chelsea is the best performer, with average prices up 76 per cent, from an average £703,259 five years ago to £1,236,605 today."

[Reposted from Jan 2013] "Ministry of Transport started one, so why doesn’t Britain have a Dutch-style bike path network?"


Link to
"Roads Were Not Built for Cars"
web site

"If the Second World War hadn’t intervened, Britain might now have a dense network of Dutch-style segregated bike paths. Or, at least, such a segregated network was the ardent desire of motoring organisations, leading police officers, the Ministry of Transport, county council officials and the majority of other witnesses who gave evidence to an influential parliamentary committee in 1938. 

"Powerful representatives of Britain’s two million motorists wanted to drive faster, and Britain’s 12 million cyclists were in the way. Cyclists ought to be compelled to use bike paths when provided, argued organisations other than cycling ones.


The first bike path in England was built in 1934, a 2.26 mile stretch of uneven concrete from Hangar Lane to Greenford Road in Ealing, London, kept separate from, but adjoining, Western Avenue. A cinema news snippet from British Pathé said the Western Avenue cycle track was 'a new safety innovation' and that 'motorist users of the road will be equally appreciative of this new boon'.

"A large crowd witnessed Leslie Hore-Belisha, the new Minister of Transport, cutting the ribbon officially opening the experimental “cycling track.” (The dedicated track disappeared years ago and cyclists, where provided for at all on this stretch of the A40, are expected to share the slim footway with pedestrians).


Register for details of upcoming book
(some versions distributed free)

Sample:

2014-04-07

Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom George Osborne Speaks to the Nation. The Nation Responds.



Barnet Times: "Leader of council welcomes George Osborne's support for regeneration projects in Barnet", as Treasury PR press release is copied.


Brent Cross's Living Bridge
Link to web site

"The Leader of Barnet Borough Council [that's not him] has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s backing of two of the borough’s major regeneration projects. [Thankfully. no sign of him at the Met's corrupt - although legal - sale of Peel Centre land in Hendon.]

"Councillor Richard Cornelius said the authority can 'do more' with the added support pledged by George Osborne, who visited Brent Cross Shopping Centre and the Grahame Park estate on Friday.

"Under the plans for Brent Cross, 7,500 new homes will be built as well as a new building for three schools and community facilities, pedestrian and cycle bridges, highways and a Thameslink station.

"The shopping centre will also be doubled in size, creating up to 6,000 new jobs." [And then Hammerson "we are in it for the long-term" will clear off.]

"Chancellor supports major north London regeneration projects" (So no hope then.)


Link to HM Treasury
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Yes - it is PR spin.)

"The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has lent his support to two major regeneration projects in North London.

"Having pledged government support [yeh, right] for the regeneration of the Brent Cross area in his Budget speech, he visited Brent Cross Shopping Centre and met with the Council, owners of the Brent Cross shopping centre, developers and retailers to discuss plans for the regeneration of the area.

"This will include the building of 7,500 new homes, a new building for three local schools, health, recreation and community facilities, new pedestrian and cycle bridges, new highways and a new Thameslink station.

"The regeneration will also double the size of the shopping centre [Oh, THAT. A mere detail, nothing more!] and will create up to 6,000 new jobs."