.

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

2012-03-31

2012-03-29

John Lewis Brent Cross: MOTHER AND BABY EVENT


"Saturday 31 March
10am - 4pm Nursery department, level 2

"From bonding to bathing, teething to travel, there's lots to learn when you're preparing for life with a new baby. Join us for expert advice and answers to your questions.

"There'll be:
  • New products on show
  • A chance to meet representatives from Dorel who will be demonstrating the latest car seats, and Manhattan Toys who will be demonstrating the latest educational toys
  • Information and tips from our Nursery advisors, plus a complimentary goodie bag
  • Advice from our lingerie advisors on the latest maternity and nursing underwear
  • Clarins consultants will be offering skincare consultations and complimentary hand and arm massages.
  • Plus a chance to win a Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix car seat worth £105!
  • Pick up your copy of the new Baby catalogue."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Wrecking ball will change South Kilburn’s skyline for good"

Link to Brent & Kilburn Times

"South Kilburn’s skyline is set to change after 40 years, if plans to demolish two tower blocks are given the green light.

The proposals would see 18-storey Bronte House and Fielding House, in Cambridge Road, replaced with two seven-floor alternatives.

"Cllr Ann John OBE, leader of Brent council said:
"We have already transformed nearly every estate in the borough, but this is an area which is in need of change."

2012-03-28

Reaction to Planning Reforms

Daily Telegraph: "Campaigners hail a 'good day for anyone who cares about the countryside'"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Campaigners said the rewritten version of the rules, which are now in force in England, contained 'important changes' to the draft document which attracted such criticism last summer, and allayed many of their concerns.

"The revised rule book was also welcomed by business groups and property developers, suggesting that attention will shift to how it is implemented by local planners."



The Guardian: "Planning laws signal end of road for out-of-town shopping centres" 

Link to The Guardian

"In concessions to opponents of last year's draft document, the new framework stipulates that brownfield sites should usually be developed before greenfield sites, and town centres before out-of-town sites. It recognises the 'intrinsic value and beauty' of the wider countryside, specifically protects playing fields, and bars 'garden grabbing' for development.

"But answering MPs' questions after his statement, Clark went further in defining 'sustainable' when he said: 'It's not sustainable to have a shopping centre outside the town centre, it's not sustainable to build on green belt' – the protected land around urban centres intended to prevent suburban sprawl. Officials later said such developments should only go ahead in exceptional circumstances."


From Monday:

Evening Standard: "It’s time to pull down the barriers to new housing" 

Link to Evening Standard

Rob Perrins, Berkeley Group: "It’s very hard to build new homes in Britain. So many people need them, but plenty of others mistrust the whole idea of development.

"New homes deliver the basic right of each person to shelter. They also create jobs: since 2009, in doubling the number of homes it built, Berkeley has also doubled its workforce, creating 6,000 jobs.

"Housing brings new investment and facilities to a neighbourhood. It also generates tax revenue and drives growth. Get the number of new homes up to 250,000 a year and that would add up to one per cent to GDP."

2012-03-27

BBC: Interview with Planning Minister Greg Clark

Link to BBC web site and iPlayer

"The revised national planning policy framework was published on Tuesday - and will be implemented immediately by councils with no local plan. There will be some transitional arrangements for councils with existing local plans.

"Among the amendments, it promises to: 
  • Help councils which 'wish to bring into being a new generation of garden cities
  • Allow communities to specify where renewable energy sources such as wind farms should, and should not, be located 
  • Allow councils to provide the parking in town centres to 'help them compete with out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets'"

Daily Telegraph: Planning Minister Greg Clark's statement to Commons

The Independent: "Planning rules 'value countryside'"

Link to The Independent

"Ministers say changes to the planning system, which see more than 1,000 pages of guidance slimmed down to around 50 and focus on a 'presumption in favour of sustainable development', are necessary to boost growth.

"... [Changes] include an explicit return to 'brownfield first', which requires councils to favour previously used land for new development over green field sites and a clearer definition of 'sustainable development'.

"It will also favour town centres for development."

Dept. for Communities: "National Planning Policy Framework" published


(Planning Minister Greg Clark)
Click above for PDF file


“The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development.”
Sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations.
Development means growth. We must accommodate the new ways by which we will earn our living in a competitive world. We must house a rising population, which is living longer and wants to make new choices. We must respond to the changes that new technologies offer us. Our lives, and the places in which we live them, can be better, but they will certainly be worse if things stagnate.
“Sustainable development is about change for the better, and not only in our built environment.
“Our natural environment is essential to our wellbeing, and it can be better looked after than it has been. Habitats that have been degraded can be restored. Species that have been isolated can be reconnected. Green Belt land that has been depleted of diversity can be refilled by nature – and opened to people to experience it, to the benefit of body and soul.
“Our historic environment – buildings, landscapes, towns and villages – can better be cherished if their spirit of place thrives, rather than withers.
“Our standards of design can be so much higher. We are a nation renowned worldwide for creative excellence, yet, at home, confidence in development itself has been eroded by the too frequent experience of mediocrity. [A special mention of Hammerson, the Brent Cross Cricklewood developers, we notice!]
“So sustainable development is about positive growth – making economic, environmental and social progress for this and future generations.
“The planning system is about helping to make this happen.
“Development that is sustainable should go ahead, without delay – a presumption in favour of sustainable development that is the basis for every plan, and every decision. This framework sets out clearly what could make a proposed plan or development unsustainable.
“In order to fulfil its purpose of helping achieve sustainable development, planning must not simply be about scrutiny. Planning must be a creative exercise in finding ways to enhance and improve the places in which we live our lives.
“This should be a collective enterprise. Yet, in recent years, planning has tended to exclude, rather than to include, people and communities. In part, this has been a result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them. Dismantling the unaccountable regional apparatus and introducing neighbourhood planning addresses this.
“In part, people have been put off from getting involved because planning policy itself has become so elaborate and forbidding – the preserve of specialists, rather than people in communities.
“This National Planning Policy Framework changes that. By replacing over a thousand pages of national policy with around fifty, written simply and clearly, we are allowing people and communities back into planning.”

2012-03-26

Sky News: "High Streets effectively defunct"


"High Streets 'Defunct' As Online Dominates"

"High streets are effectively defunct now as online retailing takes over, says the CBRE's Jonathan De Mello."

Boris 2012: Transport Manifesto

Link to PDF file


"My 9 point plan for a Greater London"

... ...

8. Reducing Tube delays 30% by 2015. Building Crossrail and orbital rail to link our suburbs. Extending the Bike Hire scheme.

9. Securing a better deal for London from No 10.

2012-03-25

The Observer: "The uplifting power of ingenious design enhances our daily lives" (as opposed to Hammerson at Brent Cross)

Link to The Observer

"A tour from the new concourse station, past the renovated Great Northern hotel and German Gymnasium up to the Regent's Canal and the old Granary building, where the University of the Arts London is now housed, is exhilarating and makes you blink and ask yourself if this is really London.

"This sophistication seems so unlike the routine failure of town planners over the last 70 years – the cock-ups, lack of imagination and compromise. And that thought brings me to the most important triumph at King's Cross – the largely unrecognised victory of activism and creative resistance by local people.

"What now unfolds at King's Cross is not simply a frantic modernised transport hub, but a neighbourhood with a mix of arts, learning, business and social housing; a balance of interests, and an enlightened attempt to integrate the lives of the well off and not-so-flush." 


Whereas what we have at 
Brent Cross Cricklewood
is Hammerson and Barnet Council!

Sunday Telegraph: "Radical planning powers are to be unveiled by ministers"

Link to Mill Hill East blog

"The planning framework will be published on Tuesday by ministers who want a new age of 'pro-growth' planning.

"It was described by one Whitehall source last night as 'the most radical business deregulation there has ever been'."

2012-03-24

The Guardian: "Cheek by Jowl: A History of Neighbours – review"

Link to The Guardian

"The records of the London Assize of Nuisance tell us that in 1333 a terrible row broke out between Joan and Andrew de Aubrey and their neighbours. The De Aubreys were livid because the people next door had taken away some of the boarding round the shared privy, so that when anyone used it their 'extremities' (as they delicately put it) were clearly visible. This they felt was 'altogether intolerable'. 

"Today it would be parking spaces, hedges or bins, but the nub of it would be the same: how people get along, or don't, with those to whom their only connection is random proximity. 

"With no pre-existing ties of kinship or occupation, the balance of common to conflicting interests among neighbours shifts constantly. They may end up by murdering one another, or getting married."

2012-03-22

Daily Telegraph: "Retail sales suffer biggest fall in nine months"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Retail sales volumes fell by a larger-than-expected 0.8pc between January and February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said."

"... Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics said: 
"February's UK retail sales figures leave the recovery on the High Street looking a bit more fragile than it previously seemed ...

So, with yesterday's Budget doing little to ease the burden of the next round of austerity measures due to hit households in April, the high street recovery looks set to be short-lived again."



"What the papers say"

'More pain than gain', an 'audacious gamble' and 'Gran Theft Auto'.

Here's what the papers have been saying about this year's Budget.



Link to The Guardian

The Guardian: Budget 2012

"... Osborne says the economy was in a benighted state back in 2010, and has since had to cope with the rolling crisis in the eurozone and the sharp increase in oil prices. While the government's shock treatment has clearly not helped, the chancellor is right when he says manufacturing was woefully neglected by the last government, at least until its dying days. He is also right to point out that growth in the boom years was heavily dependent on speculation in the City of London and the housing market, which generated – for a while – the revenues for higher public spending. 

" Those days are now over, and unless the UK can pull its socks up, according to Osborne, it faces becoming a global also-ran. That seems a fair assessment also. With its weak growth, high youth unemployment and industrial wastelands, the UK bears the hallmarks of a country in long-term structural decline."

2012-03-21

The Guardian: "Up to 40% of high street shops 'could close over next five years'"

Link to The Guardian

"Four out of 10 shops will have to shut in the next five years, as consumers turn their backs on traditional stores in favour of online shopping, according to a report which casts more doubt on the future of the beleaguered British high street.

"With retail experts increasingly painting a picture of a future high street lined with coffee shops and internet kiosks, a report from Deloitte highlights how the boundaries between physical and virtual space are becoming blurred, with thousands of shops likely to face closure in coming years."

2012-03-20

Prime Minister David Cameron's speech on national infrastructure


"Our railways are crowded and expensive.
"Compared to the French, Dutch and Swiss railways, our fares are 30% higher, our running costs are 40% higher,
and our public subsidy is double theirs."

Link to Number 10 and video

"...The truth is that no government in Britain in living memory has set out a sufficiently comprehensive and ambitious vision of this country’s infrastructure needs.  And by a comprehensive and ambitious vision, I do not just mean a list of projects; I mean an overall system, an integrated set of networks that collectively deliver the economic and social goods.

"As well as this failure of vision, there has also been a failure of financing.  Everybody knows that infrastructure is expensive; one academic assessment puts the bill at £500 billion just to meet our current commitments.  And we cannot hide from the fact that new infrastructure has to be paid for either by those who use it, by government, or by a combination of the two."

BBC: "London elections: People in suburbs 'more likely to vote'"

Link to BBC web site

"A map has shown people in the suburbs of London are more likely to turn out and vote than those in the inner city.

"The heat map from London Elects, which organises the poll, has been published as the campaign for London mayor officially got under way.

"The mayoral and London Assembly elections take place on 3 May."

Barnet Times: "Barnet Council leader 'sets expectations low' for Barnet"

Film-maker Charles Honderick
Link to Barnet Times

"This evening saw the premiere of a new documentary film about Barnet, in which Richard Cornelius, Barnet’s council leader, said he had 'set his expectations quite low' for the borough.

"Tale of Two Barnets, by Charles Honderick, was shown at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley."

2012-03-19

Wed 11 April: Evening Standard: Mayoral debate

Link to Evening Standard

"Tickets for the Evening Standard’s mayoral election debate are available, free of charge.

"Tory Boris Johnson, Labour’s Ken Livingstone, Lib-Dem Brian Paddick and Green Jenny Jones will debate issues including transport, policing, and the capital’s economy. Anyone wishing to attend can book a ticket on a Standard web page, and can at the same time suggest questions to be put to the candidates during the event."

Incisive Questioning of Hammerson's Chairman by, er, Someone Else at Hammerson

Link to Hammerson web site

Q&A with the Chairman

Hammerson's General Counsel and Company Secretary Sarah Booth talks to John Nelson about the latest developments in corporate governance and the Company's approach to emerging themes.

SARAH BOOTH: "In 2010 the Financial Reporting Council issued the new UK Corporate Governance Code and recommended that in the Annual Report the Chairman makes a personal statement to shareholders regarding governance.

"I am interested in your views on corporate governance generally."

JOHN NELSON: "I am a strong supporter of the principles of good governance originally established by the Cadbury Committee in 1992, which have proved so valuable over the years and which now form the basis of the new UK Code."

Link to Annual Report 2011
(Feb. 2012)
SB: "Have we still got more work to do on improving our standards of governance?" [Well, he's not going to say 'no', is he? And this isn't exactly a verbatum single-take interview, is it? It does say 'talks' above, does it not?]

JN: "There is always room for improvement and no Board should ever be complacent. We are charged with delivering the long-term success of our Company and we take this duty very seriously. ..."



From Annual Report:
"Hammerson has been creating and managing some of the most exciting retail destinations and office buildings in Europe for over 60 years. Hammerson’s vision is to be the best owner-manager and developer of retail property within Europe. We specialise in prime regional shopping centres and convenient retail parks. 

"Our aim is to outperform through two areas of focus:
  • income growth, and 
  • high quality property
both of which are underpinned by our capital strength."

 Chief executive’s report
"Hammerson's business model is to:
  • Own prime properties in the best locations
  • Ensure buildings are modern, well maintained and relevant for customers
  • Maintain significant scale in key markets
  • Retail property specialism to foster innovation
  • Ensure venues are positively differentiated from competition
  • Drive income growth through optimum tenant mix and high occupancy.
"Our revised strategy will enhance the focus on income growth and efficiency, and therefore we anticipate being able to grow dividends at a higher rate than in recent years.

"We have leading positions in both the UK and French retail property markets, where we will increase our presence in successful locations through development or acquisition. We will concentrate on regionally dominant shopping centres, convenient retail parks and premium designer outlet villages. Our intention is to remain an active recycler of capital in order to secure opportunities to create higher returns for shareholders.

"Within our London office portfolio, we will continue to implement our business plans to increase the value of our office assets and developments. Our intention is to sell our standing office investments over the medium-term to maximise value. We have a small number of London office development projects and strategic mixed-use sites that offer superior returns, where we will continue to allocate capital to increase the overall value of the projects. Where appropriate, we will introduce funding or JV capital to de-risk projects and reduce our overall commitment."
[Our comment on Brent Cross Cricklewood:
That seems to mean one foot is out the door already.
Any more involvement from tax havens, by the way?]


 Corporate responsibility

"European governments are increasingly focused on community engagement. At a national and local level we work with key stakeholders to align our community investment strategy with local priorities and needs. This was evident in our response to the civil unrest that occurred in the UK during the summer of 2011. We implemented a coordinated response to manage both the immediate and long-term impacts in the areas where we operate. We provided finance, skills and expertise to support local businesses and communities. 

Now that the Localism Act has been passed in the UK, we have implemented a number of measures around community consultation to further support our partners." [Although London Borough of Barnet doesn't do 'community'.]

 Business review

"There continues to be strong demand from retailers for well located, high quality accommodation in the UK and France. Planning restrictions, together with the expertise and funding required to build and operate prime shopping centres of this type, constrain their supply but our pipeline provides some exciting retail development opportunities.

"Brent Cross/Cricklewood and The Goodsyard are two further significant, long-term urban regeneration projects with a retail focus which we will continue to progress."
[Using a tax haven?]


Trip Advisor: "Holiday Inn London - Brent Cross: Traveller Reviews"

Link to Trip Advisor

We are not reprinting comments on the service provided, but some 'environmental' issues raised are...
  • "The location right on the North Circular Road is depressing. Quite difficult to navigate into the car park - several of my colleagues got lost trying to find it."
  • "... the rooms are very hot, and if you open the windows the road noise is noticeable, even on the 8th floor. Be aware there is also a Tesco 24-hour car park (to the left side of the hotel) 300 yds away, and until 2 am cars took to racing around doing screeching 'donuts'; then came the police helicopter!!"
  • "Free shuttle to tube station was handy. Don't do what we did and try to walk from the tube to the hotel - a) too far with luggage; b) it was dark, and we had to navigate to scary underpasses!!"
  • "This is a depressing hotel to stay at. The location, whilst right at the end of the M1, has nothing to commend it. The views from either side of the hotel are truly awful - in front, the North Circular Road, to the rear, a deserted building lot." [The latter may change - but don't count on it!]



Hotel web site

2012-03-18

Daily Telegraph: "Chinese move to their eco-city of the future"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City - the world's largest eco-city - is not a green, carbon-free paradise where cars are banned from the streets.

"It is far more practical - a model for how Chinese cities could develop and solve some of the enormous problems facing them: permanent gridlock, a lack of water, and ruinous electricity bills.

"If a few of the small changes adopted in Tianjin were rolled out nationwide, the results could dramatically change China's devastating impact on the environment."

Tues 20 March: Fenwick: Carluccios Level 1: FOCACCIA MAKING CLASS


Come as a novice, leave as an expert! 

"Roll up your sleeves and enjoy making this famous, rustic Italian bread along with an impressive but easy-to-make calzone. We'll send you home with the recipe and a goody bag to inspire some home-baking. To book your place or for further information please call 020 8203 6844

"A booking fee of £20 per person is required."

2012-03-17

Evening Standard on London Property (Still no news of Hammerson/Westfield and Whitgift Centre?)

Link to Evening Standard

Aldgate: "Last Friday’s announcement that homes instead of offices are to be built on a two-acre abandoned office plot on the eastern rim of the City marks an upturn in the fortunes of Aldgate and a downturn in the reputation of a hapless US developer who gambled millions on a huge office scheme that never got out of the ground."

City: "The 38-storey concrete core of Land Securities’ Walkie-Talkie tower on Fenchurch Street looked neck-creakingly close to full height on Tuesday. A three-minute stroll up to Leadenhall Street found the steel frame on British Land’s 52-storey Cheese grater jutting just five storeys above ground."

Nine Elms: "Over the coming decades, the 480-acre zone centered on New Covent Garden and Battersea Power station will be shaped very differently [from Docklands].
What has been set up instead is an economical but rather conflicted private-public partnership, made up of developers who own the land, and those whose job, one day, will be to grant or refuse planning permission."
[We know all about that at Brent Cross, don't we?]

2012-03-16

19 to 25 March: Fenwick: Beauty Event


Tips & treats, workshops, gifts & offers from leading and contemporary names at Fenwick

"Sign up or use your existing Fenwick Beauty Card during Beauty Week and get double points. For every £35 or more spent with Cosmetics or Toiletries you collect two points*. When you have collected ten points you will receive a discount of £15 off your next cosmetics or toiletries purchase. Treat yourself and we'll treat you!"


(No, the asterisk doesn't link to anything; it's just an asterisk.)

Bloomberg reports Brent Cross's Hammerson is possible takeover victim

Link to Bloomberg

"European real estate investment trusts have become likely takeover targets after share prices failed to keep pace with asset values, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.

"Companies that may attract bids include the U.K.’s Hammerson Plc (HMSO).

"... Hammerson’s discount to net asset value should narrow after the company carry’s [sic] out a plan to sell its office portfolio, JPMorgan said in the note. The developer decided to focus on retail assets because they expect 'superior returns' compared with office buildings, Chief Executive Officer David Atkins said in a Feb. 24 presentation to analysts."



The Guardian: "Why are councils spinning against freedom of information?"

Link to The Guardian

"...It's striking that the Local Government Association decided not to highlight how freedom of information has held town halls to account by exposing waste and maladministration. The Barnet bloggers showed how the council used an unlicensed security firm to covertly film residents. Perry Austin-Clarke, editor of the 'Bradford Telegraph & Argus, used FOI to discover the council was spending £500,000 on mobile phones bills. It subsequently fell to £100,000.

"A series of FOI requests by the Daily Telegraph exposed how local authorities spent £2m on hotel bills over just 3 years – including stays at the Four Seasons in New York, the Pan Pacific in Singapore, and the Athens Hilton. The beauty of FOI is that it gives the public the same powers of inquiry as elected councillors."

The Guardian: "London air pollution at record high"

Link to The Guardian

"Air pollution in London hit record levels on Thursday due to a combination of traffic fumes, relatively still weather and an influx of dirty air from the north of England and northern France. Poor conditions are affecting a swath of the country as far north as Leeds and York

"... Last month, the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, was criticised by an influential group of MPs for rejecting their recommendations to cut pollution on the grounds that it was too costly. Poor air quality has been linked to nearly one in five deaths a year in London. The capital's poor air quality, caused largely by traffic, has seen the UK facing £300m in fines for breaching EU targets. The government has successfully lobbied Europe to push back the deadline for meeting the targets."

2012-03-15

Monday 19 March: Shopping Centre: Judo Master Class

Link to shopping centre web site

"Olympic judo hopeful Lee Shinkin has his sights set on qualifying for this year's games – and now Brent Cross Shopping Centre has stepped in to help him bag the opportunity of a lifetime.

"The shopping centre has kick started an appeal to help the 25-year-old Hendon man's bid for 2012 glory by donating an initial £1,500 to a fighting fund. And now it wants other North Londoners to join in and help Lee.

"Master classes start at 4.00pm, 5.00pm and 6.00pm, with a 15 minute display, followed by a 30 minute class. All ages welcome. All abilities welcome; no judo experience is needed."

"Find out more about The Lee Shinkin Fund here."

Thursday 5 April: Transport question time with Mayor of London candidates

Book tickets and submit questions at
'Living Streets' web site

Transport question time with Mayor of London candidates

Date: 5 April 2012
Time: 6.30pm for a 7pm start
Venue: Friends House, NW1

In the run up to the Mayor of London election, 'Living Streets' is organising a transport question time event. Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones have all confirmed that they, or a senior representative, will attend.

In partnership with 'Campaign for Better Transport' and 'Movement for Liveable London', we are aiming to make sure that transport is a key election issue.

The event is your chance to quiz candidates on how they plan to keep London moving over the next four years. And find out how they would go about creating a safer, cleaner and better London for everyone.

Packed and expensive public transport, an increasingly vocal pedestrian and cycling community and forecasts of transport chaos during the Olympics are areas to debate. All aspects of London transport will be considered, with an emphasis on how to improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and passengers.

Panel and chair to be announced shortly.

2012-03-14

Evening Standard: "Westfield malls defy the gloom with £2 billion sales bonanza "

Link to Evening Standard

The new Westfield 'super malls' will ring up almost £2 billion in sales this year, despite the austerity-era gloom on the high street.

"Bryan Roberts, research director of consultants Kantar Retail, said: 
“They have hit the nail on the head. They have given people exactly what they want - an enjoyable day out that extends into the evening with a restaurant meal, a visit to the cinema or a trip to the bowling alley.

“Stratford City has tapped into a huge well of undeserved shoppers who previously had to travel to Bluewater or Lakeside, which are both looking pretty tired now. People had been sceptical about the scale of the development, and it all goes to show that the demise of the British consumer had been overstated.”

2012-03-13

Cycling across the Great Divide (the North Circular Road)

Link to Londonneur web site and video

"On 25 March at 10am, I will be outside New Southgate train station, ready to take part in Barnet’s Great Divide Ride. I know why I will be there, but I wonder what I can say to encourage someone from further afield to make the short trip up to New Southgate to support us."

Brent by-election (next to Hammerson's Brent Cross Cricklewood site)


(Leaflet produced by campaign that wishes to retain old Willesden library building in a possible new development)

2012-03-12

Hammerson in London shopping centre battle

Link to Daily Telegraph
(picture is of Meadowhall, Sheffield
OK. It's irrelevant.)


"... Meanwhile, the owners of the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon will this week identify their preferred partner for a major development of the centre. Whitgift Foundation, the owner of the freehold, said last year it would work with Westfield to develop the site.

"However, the leasehold owners may find their own development partner, and have shortlisted Grosvenor, Lend Lease, Hammerson and Westfield.

"If the leasehold owners choose a partner other than Westfield, then it threatens a major row over the future of the site, which is seen as one of the most lucrative retail development prospects in London."

2012-03-10

The past, when it was the future

1945 plan - a lower, gentler, un-Hammersoned Brent Cross


As built

"This 1955 postcard (above) proudly shows off Coventry's newly-completed Upper Precinct. It wasn't to everyone's taste, though. I must admit not being too keen myself on the 'block' buildings, and the uninteresting straight lines everywhere. At the time, though, this 'Festival of Britain' design with its safe pedestrian walkways won awards, and was copied world-wide."



A day in the Seventies?

Modernisation

"Even before the Second World War broke out, the architectural department at Coventry Council was drawing up ways of rebuilding the outdated medieval city. 

"Little could they have guessed that the town centre would be virtually erased just two years later. Whilst grieving along with the rest of Coventry's population, once the rubble was cleared the City Architect and the council were not slow to publicise the positive aspect of the blitz, and grasp the fact that the bombing had presented them with a clean canvas on which to build a new city."

Click on any image to link to
"Coventry: The post-war years"



Clarins Blooming Beauties and Yummy Mummies Event at John Lewis Brent Cross


A pampering and informative evening for new mums and mums to be!
There'll be:
  • Lingerie advisors offering advice on maternity and nursing bras
  • Nursery advisors offering hints and tips on buying for baby
  • Clarins skincare consultants will be demonstrating the latest skincare and well being products.
  • A chance to enter a prize draw to win a Clarins beauty hamper worth £180 or a John Lewis baby bath set with accessories.
  • Plus receive a complimentary hospital goodie bag containing essential skincare items.
  • A £5 booking fee applies and is redeemable against any Clarins purchase.
To book your place please call 020 8202 6535 or visit the Clarins counter at John Lewis Brent Cross.

2012-03-09

David invests in France, and Larry has a Vision

Link to Property Week (requires registration after first use)

"Hammerson chief executive officer David Atkins today said that much of the money raised from the sale of its London portfolio will be invested in France.

"The company announced two weeks ago that it would be selling its London portfolio in order to focus the business on retail."


"David Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, sold 14,831 shares in the company on the 2nd March 2012 at a price of 403.80p. The Director now holds 172,731 shares."


VPO Press Release:

"Lawrence Hutchings, Hammerson managing director UK retail, outlined the company’s vision for Croydon, at a summit aimed at attracting investment at the prestigious MIPIM event in Cannes, France.

"He re-iterated Hammerson’s hopes of uniting Croydon’s shopping core by adding Whitgift Shopping Centre to its portfolio, in the face of a public declaration of interest from Westfield.

“We are very excited about the opportunity that exists in Croydon. We identified about two-and-a-half years ago that Croydon could become a southern point in London’s retail compass." [Good grief.]

 
["QUIET, YOU LOT!" An unsuccessful video, perhaps.]



"THE OWNERS of Croydon’s 1.2m square foot Whitgift shopping mall will next week announce their preferred bidder for the hotly contested redevelopment of the centre.

"Westfield, Grosvenor, Lend Lease and Hammerson are all vying for control of the mall, which is being revived as part of Croydon’s wider regeneration scheme."

Barnet Times: "Barnet Council sold more land than any London borough, figures show"

Link to web site

"Barnet Council has sold off more public land in the last three years than any other London borough, figures show.

"A freedom of information request by BBC London showed that the authority agreed to sell eight plots covering more than 147,000 square metres for £12.9 million since 2008."

2012-03-08

Daily Telegraph: "Developers now to be forced to build on brownfield sites before the countryside"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Ministers want to replace over 1,200 pages of planning guidance with a new 52 page document called the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to clear away red tape and to stimulate development and economic growth. 

"Ministers hope that rebalancing the reforms will ease fears of countryside campaigners that the changes will give developers a 'licence to build'. The final draft is being circulated in Whitehall for approval by other department. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has yet to agree to the final draft.

"The Daily Telegraph understands that the new NPPF includes an explicit 'brownfield first' commitment, which will require councils to favour development in urban areas, ahead of rural parts of England."