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


[Reposted from Sep] BBC: "Town centres 'must adapt to online shopping'"

Link to BBC web site

"Town centres will need to market themselves as convenient hubs for picking up products ordered online, if they are to thrive into the next decade, a report says.

"The report, from research group Experian, says retailers will have to cope with more people shopping online. At the same time they must cater for an ageing population, it adds.

"It calls for them to focus on face-to-face service, and opportunities for socialising and leisure activities."

Evening Standard: "High rise London: 100 tower blocks set to be built across capital"

Link to web site

"More than 100 residential tower blocks are being built or are planned across London in an extraordinary return of high rise living, a new report claims today.

"Soaring land values and a rising population have forced architects, planners and builders to return to a form of housing once seen as untouchable after the concrete block disasters of the Sixties and Seventies.

"The 'new wave' of tower blocks use steel and glass and modern construction techniques to create 'high standards of design' that are far from the classic grey stump portrayed in Only Fools and Horses sit-com as the fictional Nelson Mandela House in Peckham."

EU Climate Action: Nicky Gavron AM: "Can transport be convenient and have a small carbon footprint too?"

Eurolink to Eurosite

"Nicky Gavron, Former Deputy Mayor of London, London Assembly Member and Labour Spokesperson for Housing and Planning on the London Assembly, believes:
"Getting around by car is becoming less and less convenient, and more and more about paying high fuel bills and being stuck in traffic jams."

Financial Times: "Plea for limits on out-of-town centres"

"Ministers have been urged to consider imposing severe restrictions on new out-of-town retail developments [like Brent Cross?] to save town centres, against a backdrop of mass closures of high street shops."

LINK (and FT paywall)

Link to BBC web site

BBC: "High Street taskforce aims to to rejuvenate retail"

"Senior figures from across the banking, retail and property sectors have signed up to a new industry-wide group, the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce.

"They are joining forces to find ways to rejuvenate failing town centres.

"The taskforce may be one of the most significant developments since Mary Portas's much-talked-about review of the High Street.

"... Members include the British Council of Shopping Centres, the British Property Federation and the Local Government Association. Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland are also represented, along with the Booksellers Association."


Foreign News: "Video of Scottish tram construction". And an RUK (Rest of the UK) video as well

Rather than trams, like in Edinburgh, the Brent Cross Coalition has been promoting a 'Docklands Light Railway' solution for north London, based on the proposed high-density development areas.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham tends to agree...

Link to earlier post, and H&F video

The Guardian: "Regulations including fire safety and wheelchair access could be torn up in an attempt to cut costs for the construction industry"

Link to The Guardian

"Ministers have ordered a wide-ranging review covering all aspects of building regulations, also including standards on energy efficiency.

"The review, which controversially includes the option of giving the building industry more scope for self-regulation, is the latest in a series of government initiatives intended to stimulate activity in the economy and drive job creation through investment in homebuilding.

"... Despite encouraging figures this week showing that the UK economy came out of recession at the end of the summer, the construction sector is still in the doldrums, contracting by 2.5% in the third quarter of the year."

"Architects urge national scheme to build more houses
with better space and privacy, that people 
might actually want to live in"

The Independent: "Brain scans, eyeball cams, crowd-modelling software: big stores use it all to get our cash"

Link to The Independent

"You could almost hear the static as the suit from Asda squirmed in her seat. In a few seconds on the Today programme, Sian Jarvis, the supermarket’s head of corporate affairs, had undermined her claims to care about the health of her customers and let slip one of the secrets of a multi-billion-pound industry.

"The executive, a former Government communications chief, tried to spin herself out of a public relations hole after she revealed that one in three Asda checkouts 'are what we call guilt-free checkouts'. Accordingly, Naughtie suggested, 'two out of three are guilty'."


"Public 'back developers'" (meaning: Hammerson-Westfield fight goes relentlessly on)

Link to Croydon Today

"DEVELOPER Hammerson claims its 'whole town' approach to the redevelopment of central Croydon has been overwhelmingly welcomed by both residents and shoppers.

The Hammerson team was due to stress this belief when they made a second presentation on their redevelopment plans, pictured above, for the Whitgift Centre at a meeting of the council's strategic planning committee yesterday (Thursday).

"... Robin Dobson, Hammerson's director of development, told the Advertiser:

"It reinforced our determination to plan for a town, rather than just a shopping centre."

[As opposed to Brent Cross Cricklewood, which has reinforced Hammerson's determination to plan for a shopping centre, rather than a town.]

The Croydon fight:

Link to:
The Guardian (from 2010):

BBC: "How Britain's oldest builder survived the recession"

Link to web site

"Nestled in the lovely Kent village of Brasted, just off Rectory Lane, is the headquarters of R Durtnell and Sons. The family-owned-and-run building firm was founded in 1591, making it the oldest building group in the country.

"... John Durtnell, the former chairman who ran the business for 40 years, says that unlike some of his rivals who have gone to the wall, he always put money aside in the good years. Even so, staff have had to take a pay cut of between 10% and 15%."


BBC: "Costa Coffee pulls out, despite planning approval"

Link to web site

"A national coffee chain has pulled out of a Devon town that prides itself on having independent shops.

"South Hams District Council had approved plans by Costa Coffee to open in Fore Street, Totnes.

"But in a letter, Chris Rogers, managing director of Costa, said the company had 'recognised the strength of feeling' against national brands in the town.

"The move, detailed in a letter to 'the people of Totnes', has been welcomed by campaign group Say No to Costa."


The Guardian: "UK wellbeing still below financial crisis levels"

Link to web site

A mix of deep recession and high inflation has left national wellbeing in Britain more than 13% down on its level before the global financial crisis, according to new government data.

The Office for National Statistics said the hit to real living standards caused by the worst downturn of the postwar era had been almost double the fall in national output as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).

Link to Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph: "Living standards down over 13pc since start of recession"

"National incomes fell by more than 13pc this year compared to the start of the recession four years ago, data in the report showed.

"National and household incomes have fallen due to mix of
worst economic downturn since the Second World War and high levels of inflation."


'Union J' Forced To Cancel Brent Cross Meet & Greet After Wrong Number of Girls Show Up (Either Too Many or Too Few)

Link to PopDash web site

"The boy-band are being hailed as the next One Direction, and with reports like this, it's easy to see why.

"The boys were due to appear at Brent Cross Shopping Centre on Thursday night, to sign autographs and pose for photos. However, the event was cancelled, as just too many fans turned up, which made it too dangerous for the boy-band to appear.

"A source said, according to the Daily Mail:
"The boys are gutted they couldn't meet their fans. as they were overwhlemed [sic] on hearing how many people had turned up."

SmugMug photos of Edinburgh tram construction (and why such disruption means north London is better off with a DLR system)

Click above for SmugMug, for donaldstirling

Link to Brent Cross Coalition's TRANSPORT page.


John Anthony Signs

"The most successful shopping centre in the UK is Brent Cross in London [eh?] so John Anthony Signs were pleased to be awarded the contract to replace the signage at this prestigious centre.

"John Anthony Signs worked closely with a London design agency to ensure that their concept was realised and implemented to the highest standard. John Anthony Signs manufactured signs for the front entrances, car parks, roadways, internal directional wall mounted and hanging signs.

"When the main entrances were installed they were very well received by our client and the tenants. The Managing Director of Fenwicks returned from holiday and stated:
"Love the treatment of the South entrance, fantastic."


Tue 27 Nov: "HAMMERSON or WESTFIELD? There's only one way to find out: FIGHT!"

Link to Property Magazine

"Influential property expert Paul Finch, vice-chairman of the Design Council and editorial director of Architects’ Journal and Architectural Review, will chair a series of debates at the 'Develop Croydon Conference' being held at Fairfield Halls on Tuesday, 27th November, 2012."


"They will include 'panel discussions' [oh, yeh!] featuring Hammerson and Westfield, the two companies vying to take over the town’s Whitgift Centre, on retail regeneration in the town."

Link to web site

Croydon Guardian: "Tickets selling fast for regeneration conference"

"Tickets are selling fast for the third annual 'Develop Croydon' Conference ... at Fairfield Halls on Tuesday, 27th November, 2012, [where the] headline speaker is Kit Malthouse, the London Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise.

"... Among those represented on panel discussions will be Hammerson and Westfield, the two companies vying to take over the town’s Whitgift Centre."


BBC: "New York's High Line: Why cities want parks in the sky" (Like Hammerson's Brent Cross 'Living Bridge' across the North Circular?)

Link to BBC web site and iPlayer

"Once an elevated freight railway track, New York's High Line is now an oasis for pedestrians. It has been so popular that other cities are following suit, with plans to replicate the formula in London.

"... In August 1999, local architectural enthusiasts Joshua David and Robert Hammond went along to a public meeting to discuss the future of the High Line.

"Within months the two New Yorkers - variously described as total amateurs and neighbourhood nobodies - founded the Friends of the High Line, a charity that has gone on to transform the abandoned railway line into a wildly successful new kind of public space - part-beach, part-park, and part-promenade."


Hammerson poaches Westfield staff (unlike raw egg on its face at Brent Cross)

Link to
'Shopping Centre'

"Hammerson has appointed Iain Mitchell as UK commercial director. He has over 20 years of retail-real estate experience at Healey & Baker, Dalgleish, CBRE and most recently Westfield, where he has played a major role in Westfield's leasing activities at Westfield Derby and Stratford City.

"... Chief executive David Atkins said:
"As we look to increase our engagement with both existing and prospective retailers, [even at Brent Cross?] and capitalise on opportunities which arise as a result of the way in which consumers use retail space, Iain's experience and approach will prove hugely beneficial to Hammerson."

'The Yard Creative':
"Hammerson - Helping this global landlord create exciting retail destinations" 

"Appointed via a recommendation, TYC were asked by this global landlord to come up with concept designs for two food and beverage units in order to create desirable destinations in the Oracle shopping centre, Reading, to help entice new tenants.
"The units had been empty for some time following unsuccessful concepts, the spaces were far from ideal with location and customer flow very much against them."
"The most intelligently thought through work we have seen for this unit. It shows a good understanding what is needed both in terms of commerciality and design statement."
Peter Cooper, Portfolio Director, Hammerson plc

Link to web site

EastLondonLines: "Irish loan sale could be key to control of Whitgift"

Rival developers are eying an Irish debt sale that could see one of them secure a majority stake in Croydon’s Whitgift Centre.

Hammerson and Westfield have been in a standoff over the future of the mall since last year, but could be offered control if an Irish bank chooses to sell a loan secured against a 50% share.


Barnet Times: "Whitefield School, Brent Cross, students get an insight into top universities with The Brilliant Club"

Link to Barnet Times

"Students at a Brent Cross school have been given the chance to work with some of the country’s top PhD students.

"A group of Year 11 and Year 13 students from Whitefield School, in Claremont Road, took part in The Brilliant Club – a programme aiming to widen access to top universities for outstanding students from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Evening Standard: "Harrow station remembers Britain's worst peacetime rail disaster"

Link to web site

"A minute’s silence was held at Harrow & Wealdstone station at 8.19am [yesterday], the exact time of the three-train crash on October 8, 1952, in which 112 people were killed and 40 were injured.

"At the gathering of more than 100 today, Harrow councillor Keith Ferry read the names of those who died when a night express from Perth crashed into the back of a stationary London-bound local train, immediately before a London-to-Liverpool express passing through Harrow struck the Perth train and derailed."


Evening Standard: "Workers £1,600 worse off than three years ago"

Link to web site

"Workers are £1,600 worse off on average than three years ago because the "dire" state of the economy has pushed down wages, according to a new study.

"The TUC said losses will continue to mount in the coming years, predicting that real terms wage losses will reach an average of £8,500.

"The research, which tracks wage and inflation data between 2009 and 2012, as well as forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility from 2012 onwards, says that workers are just a quarter of the way through the UK's 12-year wage 'dive'."


Legal Week: "Nabarro and Wragges advise on £65m London shopping mall deal"

Link to Legal Week

"Nabarro advised UK property developer Hammerson on its acquisition of the 25% stake in Croydon's Whitgift Centre from fund manager Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), in a move to beat retail rival Westfield to securing the full rights to control the site, which is earmarked for redevelopment.

"Real estate partner Simon Staite led the Nabarro team advising long-standing client Hammerson, working alongside real estate partners Rob Raimes and James Madden.

"... Hammerson and Westfield are battling to control the site, with Legal Week reporting last November that Ashurst was advising Australia's Westfield in connection with its bid for the site to develop its third London shopping mall, alongside its existing venues in Shepherd's Bush and Stratford."

"Hammerson possible merger partner for Corio" (we thought it was Capital Shopping Centres - oh, that was the week before)

Read the Full Story on Acquisitions Daily
(Registration required)

"Hammerson, the UK-based listed property group, is a possible merger partner for Dutch shopping-centre operator Corio, JPMorgan Cazenove has suggested.

"JPMorgan’s analysts say that any such deal would have to be worth less than the net asset value of the Dutch company, taking into account an increasing rate of tenant failures and a weakened outlook for continental markets.

"JPMorgan Cazenove predicted the property sector will see increasing M&A activity as companies move to lower costs and hike landlords’ pricing power.

"The analysts described Hammerson as a perennial target; the company has seen recent speculation of a merger with UK-based Capital Shopping Centres and was earlier this year said to be on the radar of Australia-based Westfield and sovereign wealth funds." 

Property Week:

The Future for UK REITS
Free audio webinar

Thursday 4 October 2012, 10am – 11am

We would like to invite you to attend Property Week's upcoming webinar– The Future for UK REITS – in association with BDO, one of the leading advisors in UK REIT entry.

With the arrival of the Finance Act 2012, much has been made of the future of UK REITs. We have brought together some of the brightest minds in commercial property to shed new light on the changing environment of UK REITs.

The webinar will cover:
  1. The current outlook for UK-REITs
  2. Has the Government gone far enough in its reforms of the UK-REIT regime?
  3. Are UK-REITs a vehicle of choice for residential property investment?
  4. What do investors look for in a UK-REIT? (including a comparison with the US and much more)

Register for free now >>

What is a webinar?
A webinar is an online seminar or conference. This is an audio webinar so you are able to listen to speakers and view their presentations from the comfort of your office or workplace via a computer. This webinar is also interactive so you will be able to send through questions for any or all of the speakers.

Kind regards,
The Property Week Team


Lucinda Bell
Finance Director
British Land
Tracy Dossett
UK-REIT specialist
Robert Fowlds
Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Corporate Finance,
JP Morgan Cazenove
James Whitmore
Executive Editor
Property Week

Caffè Nero in Fenwicks Brent Cross

"There’s not much better than a good coffee shop, which is why Brent Cross shopping centre was thrilled to announce the opening of Caffé Nero in Fenwick Brent Cross in August!

"If you’re looking for a place to curl up with your kindle, have a good gossip, talk business or simply regain your strength after a strenuous day of shopping, then Caffe Nero is the place for you. Its inviting lay-out, chic décor and comfy sofas create the perfect back drop to pretty much any social situation!

"The opening of Caffé Nero was highly anticipated and hugely successful. Staff ran various activities all day, including talks about the art of roasting, a syrup and coffee tasting session with a former world barista championship judge, and finally an exclusive popcorn tasting with Joseph Sopher, creator of Joe & Seph’s. Joseph even created some exclusive gourmet popcorn for the opening using Caffé Nero beans and dark Belgian chocolate. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds!

"Surroundings aside, the food and drink at Caffé Nero is superb. There are a multitude of muffins to choose from (we recommend Raspberry and White Chocolate), biscuits, popcorn, soups, pastas, salads, sandwiches and more! As for drinks, there is an equally exciting variety of hot and cold drinks including Frappe Milkshakes, Fruit Boosters and Chai Lattes.

"So next time you’re looking for a delicious drink or tasty snack to accompany a catch up with friends, make sure you sample the new delights of Caffé Nero Brent Cross!"