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


British Library: "Future City: Is London growing too big too fast?": Tuesday 5 October

Click above for British Library 'Future City' events
"Story of London is a Londonwide festival organised by the Mayor, that celebrates the capital both as a place of heritage and culture and as a cutting-edge city of change and new ideas.

"As part of the festival, 'Future City' is a week of after-work topical debates at the British Library. These debates bring together leading forecasters, historians and practitioners to look at the challenges that London faces and possible solutions."

Barnet Times: "Finchley civil engineer Michael Bear, who is a top executive at Hammerson plc, a partnership company behind the Brent Cross Cricklewood development, has been elected Lord Mayor of the City of London"

Click above for Barnet Times, the paper with long headlines


"More financial freedom for local authorities" [for Infrastructure]

This Treasury announcement was originally displayed here on 21 September (click on image).
The follow-up Evening Standard article below it dates from 28 September.

"Local Authorities in England will be granted new borrowing powers  ... to fund key infrastructure and other capital projects, which will support locally-driven economic development and growth.

"This system has long been employed in other countries."

(Click for Evening Standard)

"Yet more borrowing? Nick Clegg should be careful"

"The idea is that councils previously unable to afford regeneration projects will soon able to borrow money upfront against the predicted rise in business rates brought in by the development. The funds are used to pay for the infrastructure needed to make the scheme happen, and paid back to investors over 10 to 20 years."


'Barnet Leaks' Web Site is Relaunched

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government visits Lynne Hillan's Brent Cross sand pit

"Local Government minister Bob Neill MP praises work Barnet Council has done on easyCouncil strategy"

Bob Neill MP with council leader Lynne Hillan, deputy chief executive Zina Etheridge and Councillor Richard Cornelius.

(Click on picture for 'Barnet Times'.)


Brent Cross Bikes in the future?

The Independent: "Low rate of theft"

Is it an Incinerator?

Comment from an opponent, about a year ago:

[The plan seems to be that:] The domestic waste is dried and pelleted at high temperature in the waste plant on the Edgware Road. The pellets go on a conveyor underneath the Thameslink railway line, to the incinerator near the M1 roundabout. Ash comes out of the gasifying incinerator plant there. Emissions go up the tall chimney, next to the high-level North Circular Road flyover.

Mace Group - Property and Construction Expertise

The Mace Group is one of the world's most accomplished consultancy and construction firms.

'Broken Barnet' blog: "Thoughtcrime" Picture of Councillor Brian Coleman

Click above to link to 'Broken Barnet'

(This Brent Cross Coalition web site seems to have more and more references to Barnet bloggers - this is a reflection of their new-found readership levels. We assume 'purist' readers of our narrower 'Brent Cross' subject matter are content to see our wider range of posts.)

'Barnet Bugle' blog: "Barnet Council has a new whizzy-bang idea. They have launched yet another web site"

The Guardian: Three Barnet Replies to "Auditor challenges Tory 'easyCouncil' model"


"Ship of Fools" Commentary by 'Broken Barnet' web site

"How much more of our money has to be spent on saving the faces of an administration that so evidently lacks intellect, competence, and genuine commitment to the well-being of the people it was elected to serve?

The Guardian: "Barnet 'easyCouncil' project lacks proper business plan, audit finds"

easyChair:  Link to The Guardian
"Plan to sell off libraries and axe wardens for elderly needs 'cost and benefits analysis' "

Picture archive of Barnet Council: 'Gold Diggers' and 'Far from the Barnet Crowd'


The Prof's back in Town!

"Zero Waste - the Cost Effective and Sustainable Alternative to Incineration"

Presentation by Professor Paul Connett

House of Commons, Tuesday 2nd November, 6pm

 Professor Connett returns by popular demand, following his recent tour of Europe and talks to the United Nations on 'Zero Waste'.

He is a world expert on waste management issues, specialising in the dangers of waste incineration, and in safer and more sustainable non-burn alternatives.

The main objective is to raise awareness among parliamentarians/policy makers about the issues and arguments for 'zero waste' strategies, and highlight the problems associated with waste incineration. The event will follow a meeting the previous week between Prof. Connett and DEFRA civil servants.

Try asking nicely for a ticket for the above meeting, from: Gloucestershire Against Incinerators.

Barnet Press letter and Barnet Times letter

'Brent Cross Development Corporation'?
A copy of a relevant post on local planning policy, from last June, is repeated below:
Click above for link
The Localism Bill will contain an "obligation on authorities to cooperate on those parts of their policies which cross borders and boundaries, and in a way that cross-boundaries were perhaps not recognised in the regional system."

The Brent Cross location impacts three London boroughs: 

NewStart: "£30m London sustainability centre gets go-ahead"


'Barnet Eye' blog alleges Barnet Council is 'a little less than perfect' at Project Management and Financial Control

(Rat-link above)

"It has been reported in the local paper that, when [a councillor] was asked why, after three years and several million pounds, there was:
      - no business case,
      - no cost justification, and
      - a high risk profile
for the 'Future Shape' project to privatise the council, [the councillor] replied:
'Don't worry, I'll knock one out by Christmas.' "

[Paraphrased; 'Barnet Times' is here.]


Brief Comment on the 'Community Infrastructure Levy'

Click above for the 'British Property Federation' web site.

Quod Planning Services added to the Firmament of Consultants of the Brent Cross Cricklewood Developers

The developers of Brent Cross have presumably been taking an honest look at their own talents.

As a result, they have engaged Quod Planning Services (although individuals there were already involved). They describe themselves as:
"a refreshingly new planning consultancy ... offering ...  incisive thinking, attention to detail, and honest commercial advice by a team of professionals who are passionate about good planning."
Did the developers not have those virtues already?

It is possible that Quod get teased about being similar in name to the Doctor Who aliens, the Ood.

They are a peaceful, humanoid species of enormous intellect; they are able to communicate between themselves, and with their supreme being, by telepathy.

The other lot are on TV. 


"Broken Barnet" blog publishes another cracking picture of Barnet Councillors (well, it brightens up this page!)

(Click on picture to link to Broken Barnet.)
   "Like an unwanted baby left on the doorstep of the Town Hall, 'Futureshape', child of shame born out of the lurid affair between Mike Freer and his own ego, has now been formally adopted and renamed to 'One Barnet'. "


Traffic at Brent Cross - do Hammerson and Standard Life agree??

Click on image to link to report

This report is from a few months ago...

"The transport elements of the Brent Cross scheme are described by TfL as ‘complex’. Three main changes are proposed to improve public transport access: a relocated bus station in the shopping centre on the north of the A406 with new bus routes and higher frequencies on existing routes; a new Brent Cross station north of Cricklewood on the Thameslink Midland mainline and a ‘Rapid Transit System’ consisting of a minibus plying a route from Cricklewood Station to the shopping centre and Brent Cross underground station via the new ‘town centre’.

"However, the walking routes to the new bus station would be longer, and it would be located immediately next to the noise and pollution of the North Circular Road, which at that point has ten lanes. The so-called Rapid Transit System would be poor value for money, according to TfL, and would only be funded by the developers for a short time. Critics claim the existing Thameslink Cricklewood and Hendon stations will be likely to close if Brent Cross Thameslink is built, as the stops would then be too close together.

"TfL does not consider that the public transport and other measures to mitigate the transport impact of the Brent Cross scheme will be effective in achieving the shift to walking, cycling and public transport that it says is vital to its success. The planned public transport provision for this enormous development project bear no comparison to new tram or other rail services provided for equivalent schemes elsewhere. The developer could be accused of proposing no more than the bare minimum of new public transport to secure planning approval."

Is Hammerson France peeking at us, peut-être?

Since we have been mentioning Hammerson more than usual, we seem to be getting regular hits from across the Channel (or at least from a corporate with its internet gateways there).
Could it be Hammerson - Oops, there we go again - that is doing this?
Hammerson decamped to some extent to France last February; see the 'Evening Standard':
"Hammerson calls halt to new projects in Britain and heads to France."
No, it's probably just a co-incidence. Sorry we mentioned it really.
Carry on.

Protecting Small Shops in London

From a recent London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee report:

"We heard evidence that small, independent shops can provide a hub for communities, providing local jobs, promoting local entrepreneurial activity and keeping money circulating in the local economy. We have also drawn on evidence suggesting that they can promote active travel, which makes for healthier and more sustainable communities."

Ham and High letter

Links to independent supporting material:

Press Reaction to Tuesday's Barnet Council Meeting

(See also page 1 of this week's electronic version)

(See pages 2, 3 and 8 of this electronic version)

(See pages 2 and 16 of this electronic version)

"Call For Infrastructure Overhaul" [planning changes due to climate change]

Link to FT front page.
(Choose 'UK', then 'Politics and Policy'. Otherwise search for title. Registration is free, if it proves necessary.)


Dept. for Local Government: "No More Political Planning Press Statements"

'Broken Barnet' Blog: Report on Barnet Council Meeting

"At last, we reached the main event of the evening, Item 3.6, Libdem Jack Cohen's naughty little suggestion that the council might have lost confidence in the magnificent leadership of Lynne 'Because I'm Worth It' Hillan.

"Of course, unless you knew what Item 3.6 was, you might not have realised what they were voting for, or against. It was tactfully hurried through by the kindly Mayor, with barely a word in explanation. Labour and Libdems, of course, voted in favour of the motion: what would the Tories do? For the against vote, all their arms shot up in the air, as if pulled by invisible strings by an unseen puppet master. Just imagine the scene.

"Within a micro-second we seemed to being moved on to Item 3.7, but the Labour councillors all yelled for a division, which means each councillor is asked in turn to declare their vote. One by one, all thirty-nine Tory councillors announced that they were against the motion, and therefore declared their full confidence in Lynne Hillan, the leader whom half of them are believed to have voted against in the leadership contest with Mark Shooter last week.

"Yes, that is very odd, isn't it?"

'London Daily News' Web Site: Report on Barnet Council Meeting

"Lynne Hillan, the first female to lead Barnet council, the Conservative flagship authority, has survived, with strong bacing [sic] by her own Conservative group a vote of no confidence tabled by the Liberal Democrats. 

"In a 'low key debate' with no raised voices, the Conservative group confidently dealt with the Barnet Liberal Democrats attempts to destablise [sic] the Hillan administration."

[sic. We don't mind adding in commas for readability, but the spelling and grammar ain't our responsibility.]

The Guardian: Response to Report on Public Transport

"The Buchanan report springs to mind on reading the Campaign for Better Transport's study, which roundly and rightly praises those cities that have laid on abundant and cheap public transport as a rather less drastic approach to taming the car. Ever since 1960, attempts have been made to try and keep this machine under control.

"Libertarian bores will insist this is due to some patrician hatred of mass mobility, but the CBT's report reminds us that what we could call "transport poverty" is something that afflicts the old, the unemployed, and the ill; and that the most effective means of dealing with traffic-choked cities is through public transport, rather than moralising."

Barnet Eye blog: "I trust you are prepared for the public backlash which awaits you."

"Lynne Hillan's favourite blog - 'The London Daily News' - reports that ALL 39 TORY COUNCILLORS backed Lynne Hillan in the confidence vote. 

"Mrs Angry ['Broken Barnet' blog] reports that the Labour group called a division, which meant all of their names were read out, to sheer public derision. No wonder they only wanted 25 members of the public to attend.

"Well, you've read their emails here. You've followed the story. Ask yourself this. All 39 Barnet Tory Councillors have PUBLICLY BACKED Lynne Hillan in a vote of confidence. In their judgement, they are happy to be named as believing she is the best person to lead the group through these troubled times.

"18 of them voted against her last week in a secret ballot."

Council Leader Survives No-Confidence Vote

"Mrs Angry's advice to parents is that if any of your children show any signs of wanting to go into local politics, and stand as a Tory candidate in a borough like ours, then please: Act now. Seek professional help. Immediate intervention is necessary. Pray that they become lap dancers, money launderers or bank robbers, rather than see your child sink to the depths of shame displayed in the council chamber in Hendon Town Hall this evening.

"In case you are wondering, all 39 voted to show their unquestionable support in their leader, Lynne Hillan. You know, the one that half of them are alleged to have wanted to dump a few days ago, after the outrage of her allowance rise hike, and subsequent, if partial, U-turn."

- Broken Barnet blog

Council Meeting: Barnet Times "Allowancegate" petition refused by Council Leader Lynne Hillan (says blogger)

"Many residents could not get inside the town hall to hear the meeting. There will be complaints about this.  

"Times series reporters tried to deliver their petition against the allowances rise to the leader, but she refused to meet them - she will only speak to the group editor."

- Vickim57 blog


Evening Standard: "Planning Chaos Will Bring The Roof In"

"How will an untried process of community-led development and referendums help pick up the pace and make home ownership a more realistic prospect? 

"The Coalition Government thinks councils will take up the carrot of more funding on offer through the New Homes Bonus to push for developments, but some authorities could take the opposite tack".
Our view: Show Barnet some money and it cannot grab it fast enough!  [As always, click on picture to link to the story.]

Giving People Transport Choices: Nottingham - v - Milton Keynes

"Award-winning bus services, a European-style embrace of the tram and a bias against out-of-town shopping centres were cited as powerful incentives for residents of Nottingham to leave their cars at home."


Evening Standard: 'Anonymous' and Redrow Founder Criticise New Planning Policies

"Critics fear that residents in wealthier areas in and around the capital may simply end up agreeing to pay more council tax to make up for the shortfall in those bonuses, in return for keeping the developers out."

Our view: 
Not in Barnet they won't - the borough is broke!
Click below to link to 'Barnet Eye':

"Another interesting comment was regarding the Brent Cross scheme. I had long suspected this, but no one had the balls to say it out loud.

This is purely being passed because the finances of Barnet Council have been destroyed by the Freer/Hillan years of mismanagement. Barnet is desperate for the section 106 money to plug the hole.

There you go. The sad truth is that they are going to destroy the character of the London Borough of Barnet to save their allowances and plug the hole they've made."

Brent Cross Mind Map. (This could be a 'killer app.' But not yet.)

Brent Cross on ancient-rome.info.

(If you click on the "+" next to "Development" you can see the sort of thing it is trying to do.)