.

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

2011-07-31

Campaign: "Brent Cross shopping centre hands consumer remit to Consolidated PR"

Link to Campaign web site

"Brent Cross shopping centre has hired Consolidated PR, after a five-way pitch.

"Brent Cross head of marketing, Norman Black, said:
"We want to work with Consolidated, to highlight our to-die-for retail mix, and our enviable understanding of the shopping experience. We want the agency to help us retain our amazing band of loyal customers, and show how relevant and innovative we are, to continue to attract even more new shoppers." 
[Our gushing emphases added. No expansion plans there, by the way.]


"Consolidated PR is one of the UK's leading independent public relations agencies with consumer, corporate, political and digital clients."

[We would show you the Consolidated PR web site, 
but currently, it doesn't seem to work properly for us.]

2011-07-28

Barnet Times: "Brent Cross developers say plans still on track"

Link to Barnet Times

"THE developers behind plans for a new town in Brent Cross say a decision on a waste plant will not delay their scheme.

"The first phase of the project is to include flats built on top of a waste transfer station, in Tilling Road, off the North Circular, but that [depends] on a replacement waste plant being built at Pinkham Way, in New Southgate."
[It's not as simple as just that.]

2011-07-27

Barnet Times: "Campaigners fear Pinkham Way waste plant impact on Brent Cross Cricklewood"

Current 'Hendon Waste Transfer Station' at Brent Cross


Don't go near the water...
Link to Barnet Times

"CAMPAIGNERS claim the decision to halt a waste plant project will cause major problems for plans for a new town in Brent Cross.

"David Howard, a member of the coalition and chair of the Federation of Residents Associations of Barnet, said:
“What it means for the community is more uncertainty. Will we lose our homes?"

RICS: "the future of uk housebuilding"

Link to Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors web site

"Despite the significance of housing supply to the national economy and general well-being, UK housebuilding has long been associated with a lack of supply, fragmented industry structure, overall risk-averse attitudes, a general reluctance to innovation, skills shortages, a slow take-up of sustainability and a less-than-responsive planning system.

"These features, coupled with the recent sharp economic downturn, impose significant challenges for the industry, today and in the future. Opportunities for delivering good quality, affordable and sustainable homes do exist, in parallel with a number of inter-connected drivers for change around the aspects of political, socio-cultural, technological and environmental development."

2011-07-26

Barnet Times: "Brent Cross and Hendon Central stations given listed status"

Link to Barnet Times
(photo is from 1923)

"TWO Barnet tube stations have been given listed status, as part of London’s 'hidden heritage'.

"Brent Cross and Hendon Central are among 16 stations across the capital to be given extra protection from development by the Government.

"All are said to be of historic and architectural significance to the development of the tube."




BBC: "Planning system overhaul 'damage' feared"

Link to BBC web site

"The new framework streamlines more than 1,000 pages of policy into just 52, transforming a system whose 'volume and complexity have made planning increasingly inaccessible to all but specialists', according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

"Main points include:
  • A commitment to public transport, as well as encouraging provision of charging points for electric cars and welcoming other low-emission vehicles
  • Emphasis on tackling noise pollution, as well as light pollution 'affecting the beauty of the night sky'
  • Facilitation of a new generation of renewable energy projects, as part of an acknowledgment of the role of planning in tackling climate change."



"Dramatic simplification of planning guidance to encourage sustainable growth"

Link to DCLG web site

"A new, simpler framework for the planning system that safeguards the environment while meeting the need for sustainable growth has been published for consultation today by Planning Minister Greg Clark.

"National planning policy, which is the basis for every local plan and decision, has accumulated to over one thousand pages during the last decade. Its volume and complexity have made planning increasingly inaccessible to all but specialists.

"The Government in the Coalition Agreement committed to turning this thicket of national planning policy into a clear, tightly focused document, setting out national priorities and rules.

"Today Ministers are inviting views on the draft National Planning Policy Framework - which streamlines national policy from over 1,000 pages to just 52 pages of policy - as part of a consultation to get the planning system right for current and future generations. The draft Framework draws on responses to an initial call for evidence earlier in the year. The Government intends to consult on simplifying other guidance on national policy as the next step."

2011-07-25

Councillors relentlessly drive forward the 'Barnet Regeneration Agenda' during August

Graphic: 'Barnet Bugle'

Barnet Times: "Residents launch Cricklewood Improvement Programme" [Hammerson is part of the problem, not the solution]

Link to Barnet Times

"A GROUP of residents has launched the Cricklewood Improvement Programme, to take an active role in the development of the community.

"Cricklewood covers Barnet, Brent and Camden, and CIP plans to work with councillors, traders and police from each borough, to make sure the area is developed as one neighbourhood."

2011-07-23

2011-07-21

Design Week: "The Neighbourhood ‘portable marketing suite’ property app" (nothing of Brent Cross, not surprisingly)

Link to 'Design Week'

"Bostock and Pollitt and Neighbourhood have created an iPad2 app for property developer Hammerson, to showcase the London Wall Place scheme in the City of London.

"The app uses the iPad 2’s gyroscope position and movement sensor, together with its GPS capability and compass, to allow users to stand on site, and use the iPad 2 as a ‘virtual porthole’ to look around, and see how the scheme will look upon completion."

2011-07-20

The Guardian: "Consumers are out there, insists Land Securities" (Oh, and there's a minor sentence about Hammerson)

Nice chair. 
Link to The Guardian

Steve McGuckin, UK managing director at the construction consultancy Turner & Townsend, and a former Land Securities director, said:
"As long as consumer confidence stays at such an uncertain level, there will be question marks over retailers' ability to keep paying their rent. Looking forward, we're unlikely to see rapid growth for either commercial or residential developers. It will be more of a case of steady as she goes, than full steam ahead."
"Brian Johnson, an insolvency partner at HW Fisher & Company chartered accountants, said:
"You would need to be extremely brave to consider investing in high street retail space at the moment. Investing in retail is a bet on the consumer, but does the consumer really look like a great bet? Over the next few months, there's every chance we will see even more major retailers collapse, bringing further despair.

"However, this downturn can't last for ever. In the next six months to a year, it could be that the high street starts to come back to life, and those who jumped in at the right time will make the most of this recovery. Naturally, certain towns and cities will fare better, or be more resilient than others, but the overall picture remains extremely challenging."

2011-07-16

NLWA contract: mystery withdrawal of front-runner company


Link to LetsRecycle web site

"In a surprise move, SITA UK has dropped out of the running for the huge North London Waste Authority long-term waste management contract, leaving two bidders, FCC/Skanska and Veolia ES, to compete for the work.

Making the best of a bad job?
NLWA's Cllr Clyde Loakes
Link to 'Pinkham Way'
site: 'Out of Sorts'

"SITA UK/Lend Lease had been tipped as a strong contender, due to the waste company’s long involvement alongside the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) as joint owner of disposal company LondonWaste. The company sold its 50% stake to the NLWA in November 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story) to clear the way for bidding for the waste management contract.

"The announcement represents the latest incident to affect the procurement of a long-term waste solution by the NLWA, which currently handles 900,000 tonnes-a-year of waste disposal across its seven member boroughs. In October 2010, the Authority had its PFI support withdrawn as part of the government’s spending review (see letsrecycle.com story).

2011-07-15

Mr Reasonable: Wasted planning money in Barnet (nothing new there)

Link to Mr Reasonable

"Last year plans for the redevelopment of Brunswick Park Hub were hastily put forward.

"... One thing I was still unclear about was how much this has cost Barnet Council taxpayers. I still don’t know the full extent of the costs but as part of my audit investigation I have unearthed a bill from Elevate Partnership for £299,269 who worked on the design of the scheme. So much money for absolutely no return."

2011-07-13

Estates Gazette: "Hammerson goes 'touchy feely' at Brum's Bullring"

Link to Estates Gazette

"It appears the Birmingham Alliance has gone all 'touchy feely' of late. The partnership involving Hammerson (who is also project manager), Future Fund and Henderson Global Investors plans to delight shoppers with new public art, inspired by the concept of the soundwaves created when a tree is cut down and falls to the ground (blimey!), a new 'living' wall, and water feature.

"Subject to consent, shoppers will be able to enjoy the striking new public art, when it will be unveiled as part of the opening of the Bullring's new dining quarter - Spiceal Street - in winter 2011."

Hackney Gazette: "Controversal Hammerson 51-storey tower block gets go-ahead from Hackney Council - again"

Link to Hackney Gazette
(CGI by VYONYX)

"A 51-storey skyscraper in Shoreditch which opponents claim encroaches into a unique heritage area has been given the go-ahead for the second time by Hackney Council.

"Planning permission was originally granted in 2009 for three skyscrapers, containing offices, a hotel, 191 private flats and 50 affordable homes on the Bishop’s Place site. But the economic climate forced developer Hammerson to redesign the scheme.

"David Atkins, Hammerson Chief Executive said:
“The scheme will deliver high quality office accommodation alongside a landmark residential tower in a convenient, vibrant location.”

2011-07-11

BRENT CROSS HAMMERSON BOSS RESIGNS! (We know how he feels)


Link to 'What Investment' web site

"Hammerson has revealed Martin Jepson, head of London group, has resigned.

"Jepson, who was appointed as managing director of London group in 2008, was reported to have resigned to:
"explore new opportunities."
  [as you do]
"Hammerson's ... investment portfolio includes Brent Cross shopping centre."


Link to "My New Job".





Also reported by the Wall Street Journal (but Rupert "Hack My Phone" Murdoch wants your money first).

2011-07-09

Mrs Angry now national media figure (alongside Rupert Murdoch). "I will not let it go to my head," her butler reported

Link to The Guardian

Eric Pickles paid tribute this week to the Barnet bloggers, a group of activists who uncovered a £1.3m audit scandal at their local council. In this guest contribution, one of those bloggers, Theresa Musgrove, who writes at the Broken Barnet website under the name Mrs Angry, discusses how "armchair auditors" can hold local authorities to account.
"A symbiotic relationship with your local press is advantageous. Initial rivalry between bloggers and journalists in Barnet has developed into a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship: they pinch our stories - and sometimes we pinch theirs.

"Finally, to be a successful armchair auditor, perhaps the most important quality to have is an instinct for misinformation, and a deep seated suspicion of the way in which local authorities operate. Always assume the worst: you will almost always be right."

Mrs Angry's symbiotic relationship with Richard Cornelius,
caretaker Leader of Barnet Council
(Click on image for web site)

2011-07-08

Saturday 9 July: Barnet Times: "Finchley shops to hold Independents Day, organised by Finchlinks"

Link to Barnet Times
(with a bit of luck, this image is animated!)

"A FINCHLEY group is rallying residents to support local shops, where there will be discounts this Saturday, 9 July.

"Finchlinks is urging shoppers to spend £10 more than they normally would to support small businesses in Ballards Lane, Finchley Central, and High Road, North Finchley, as part of what they are calling Independents Day."

CFG: Hammerson praises local authority for its support

Link to cfg web site

"Property development firm Hammerson has received the green light to proceed with work on a new office building in the east London district of Shoreditch, which is poised to become the headquarters of a law firm.

"Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said:
"The support from the planning committee signifies the importance of Principal Place in the continued regeneration of Hackney."

ShareCast: "Hammerson snaps up city office for £100m"

Link to ShareCast web site

"Real estate investment trust Hammerson has acquired a 999-year leasehold interest in a prime London location for £100m, including costs.

"The company, which operates primarily in the retail sector - owning well-known shopping centres such as Brent Cross in London and the Bullring in Birmingham - announced on Friday that it has purchased a virtual freehold interest in 99 Bishopsgate from PRUPIM, acting on behalf of the Prudential Assurance Company."

"We have an exciting business plan!" said chief executive David Atkins.

2011-07-07

Secretary of State Eric Pickles slams Barnet Council - and praises Barnet's Bloggers!

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Govermnent

Linkable version below:

@barnetbugle Barnet Bugle
@ericpickles slams easycouncil barnet for procurement fiasco and praises local bloggers for helping expose it #CIPFA2011 (via @Jamesillman)
Mentioned in this Tweet
EricPickles Eric Pickles · Follow
MP for Brentwood & Ongar
Jamesillman James Illman · Follow
Local Government Chronicle reporter covering all matters #localgov and #localism with a special interest in #localgov finance 



Updated 4.20pm:
Excerpt of Eric Pickles comment (courtesy James Sillman, Local Government Chronicle):

"I was shocked by a recent case in Barnet.

"The council had hired a private security firm, MetPro, which included 'keeping an eye' on the local armchair auditors and activist bloggers - at a cost of over a million pounds.

"The contract had been awarded without a tendering exercise, without a written contract, and no proper invoicing.

"An internal audit showed there 'serious deficiencies in current procurement arrangements', and there were no guarantees that against a repeat of such practices.

"Irony of ironies - this misuse of public money was uncovered thanks to the determination of local bloggers and activists…

"Including Barnet Eye. Mr Mustard. And Mrs Angry. (As she had every right to be)

"Exactly the same people MetPro snooped upon.

"I’ve got news for Barnet: Liveblogging from council meetings. Microjournalism. Call it what you like.

"It’s here to stay.”


(And no doubt that applies to the non-geographically-constituted local authority called...  the 'North London Waste Authority'.)

6 July: Financial Times: 12% of Hammerson for sale (Hammerson and Goldman Sachs declined to comment last night)

Link to story (via FT sign-on)


"Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the largest pension investors in North America, is selling its 12 per cent stake in Hammerson, the retail and offices property developer, for more than £400m.

"The Ontario fund last night began placing its approximately 12 per cent share in Hammerson, using Goldman Sachs to carry out an accelerated book build.

"Hammerson said like-for-like retail sales at its UK shopping centres, which include Brent Cross in north London, rose 1.5 per cent last quarter."

Brent Cross developer Hammerson must rue the day it had to deal with Mike Freer, 'Leader of Barnet'

Perhaps you would explain all this, Mike?

Mike Freer MP was the Leader of the London Borough of Barnet who rail-roaded through the Brent Cross Cricklewood plan, despite serious deficiencies in consultation, transport, waste incineration plant, existing housing, environmental considerations, ...

He ran the Council during several years of the on-going Metpro scandal (see this week's 'Private Eye'), Icelandic bank losses, Aerodrome Road massive overspend, ...

Despite previously being made 'Banker of the Year' by 'Private Eye' for his (lack of) financial skills, he offers Mr Cameron some macro-economic advice ...


(courtesy of 'Barnet Eye')

Evening Standard: "£21bn property 'gold rush' gives rise to 70 prestige developments"

Link to Evening Standard

"The desire of the world's wealthiest people to own a London apartment has sparked an unprecedented £21 billion property 'gold rush', a report reveals today.

"Almost 70 developments across the capital - from Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea in the west to One Tower Bridge in the east - are in the pipeline and due for completion by 2020 to meet the demand.

"Kay Boycott, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said:
"The gulf between ordinary Londoners constantly struggling to pay their rent or mortgage and those who will live in these so-called billionaire apartments is another example of London's divided housing market."

2011-07-06

TheBusinessDesk: "Leeds: D-Day for Hammerson's Eastgate Quarters"

Link to 'TheBusinessDesk' web site
(registration required for video)

"Hammerson's Eastgate Quarters scheme goes before planning officers in Leeds tomorrow, following years of work by the developer to get the project to this stage.

"As our exclusive video with Hammerson's Andrew Hilston and Joe Swindells reveals, Hammerson believes the project, which will cover a vast swathe of Leeds city centre."

Hammerson forced to work with Barnet - the Local Authority from Hell - now in Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs'!

Link to 'Broken Barnet' web site

"... it was Barnet's culture of contempt for the democratic process, and any duty to be accountable to its electorate, that drove it to use an illegally operating team of bouncers to keep them out of the debate and under control, their behaviour filmed and documented as if they were criminals, rather than ordinary citizens wanting to watch their elected representatives in action. But this incident was also to prove their own undoing: look what happened next ...

"MetPro was a symptom, not the disease, but what a fitting symbol it presents, citizens, for everything that is rotten in the state of Broken Barnet.

"*Update: talking of something rotten - oh look ... just fancy that: the lead story in the latest Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs' section is all about MetPro - headed 'Black Shirts in Barnet' ..."


See also:

Not to mention (unrelated to the picture above):  

And let's not forget:

New York Times: "Across Europe, Irking Drivers Is Urban Policy"

'Pedestrians and trams are given priority treatment in Zurich.
Tram operators can turn traffic lights in their favor as they approach, forcing cars to halt.'
(Click above for New York Times article)

"Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges, just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of 'environmental zones' where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter.

"While some American cities — notably San Francisco, which has 'pedestrianized' parts of Market Street — have made similar efforts, they are still the exception in the United States, where it has been difficult to get people to imagine a life where cars are not entrenched."

2011-07-04

London Borough of Barnet: It claims it is "Putting the Community First"!

(Reposted item)

Part of submission of planning application from the Brent Cross developers (mainly Hammerson) on 12 November 2008

WASTE HANDLING

"The application proposals involve the creation of a new rail-linked Waste Handling Facility on a site adjacent to the A5 [Edgware Road; originally the Roman Road, Watling Street]. The existing facility will not be closed, until a new facility has been constructed. [The current plant just loads domestic rubbish on to trains, which then travel to Calvert in Buckinghamshire.]

Evening Standard image
(the incinerator is south-west of the shopping centre)

"The waste facility is likely to be operated through a new contract, yet to be awarded by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA). The Development Partners [in 2010, Multiplex gave up, just leaving Hammerson south of the North Circular Road; typical for the shambles that is Brent Cross, their web site still includes 'Multiplex'] are in advanced discussions with the Authority, regarding the design, specification and programme of this facility.

"Key elements of the specification proposed by the Development Partners are that the Waste Handling Facility:
  • will be connected directly to the Combined Heat and Power plant [incinerator]
  • should be designed to manufacture a 'Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)' [no known difference from 'Solid Recovered Fuel' - you can call it what you like! There is more here.] from residual municipal waste, suitable for use in the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant [incinerator], to be constructed as part of the development [further east, near Brent Cross shopping centre];
  • will produce sufficient fuel to meet the requirements of the CHP, when it is fully operational [serving the 150 hectares, made up of 14-million-square-feet of development over 20 years].

Click above to enlarge
The Brent Cross waste plant - 
Hammerson described initial heat treatment of 
residual waste "at up to 700 degC." and "there could be a stack."

 "Negotiations are continuing with the NLWA, concerning these and other aspects of an agreed specification and programme for developing the Waste Handling Facility (WHF).

"... The [incinerator] stack will be a maximum height of 140-metres above finished ground level, ... with a [CHP] building size of 65 by 45 metres, and 45 metres high.

"... If RDF from the WHF [for the CHP!] is not available, an alternative fuel source would be used, which is likely to be natural gas. ... The development partners [would then] consider the use of free-standing wind turbines."



Link to pre-approval 'Estates Gazette'
video at Hendon Town Hall



Monday 4 July: Save Local Newspapers!


 "The National Union of Journalists
 has chosen Enfield as the setting for
 the launch of a national campaign 
 to save local newspapers."

"The dispute over staffing levels and quality journalism at North London and Herts Newspapers [includes Barnet Press.] has been resolved, following negotiations. The dispute in Enfield centred on non-replacement of journalists at the group’s papers, and led to a strike in April. The NUJ chapel had recently voted to take further strike action.

"NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said:
"I’m pleased that we have been able to hold genuinely positive discussions with management, to resolve the differences between us. Both sides recognise that producing newspapers which serve local communities properly is a business requiring commitment from everybody involved.

Happily, that commitment exists at North London and Herts Newspapers, helping us to resolve our dispute.

We look forward to engaging in further discussions with management at an early date, to consider ways to advance the interests of our members, and the newspapers and communities they serve."
"Join journalists from North London and Herts Newspapers at an NUJ meeting, to launch a national campaign to defend quality journalism, on Monday 4 July. The nearest train station is Enfield Town, and the union welcomes anyone who wishes to come and support the campaign."

Details of the public forum:
Monday 4 July, 6.30pm
Dugdale Centre, 
Thomas Hardy House, 
London Road, 
Enfield Town, 

2011-07-03

Hammerson profile: Brent Cross gets a mention!

Link to docstoc.com - Wright Investors' Service

"The Company's Investments included ... Brent Cross, London NW4" !

2011-07-02

Hammerson Half-Year Results: You'll just have to wait

Hammerson plc (Paris: GB0004065016 - news)

27 June 2011

Notice of Results

"It is anticipated that the announcement of the results for the half-year ended 30 June 2011 will be made on Monday 1 August 2011."


Er, that's it.