.

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

2012-12-31

The Guardian: "Michael Gove faces rebellion over no-curves schools plan"


Link to web site

"The education secretary, Michael Gove, is facing a growing rebellion from teachers and architects over plans to simplify new school buildings, after a study claimed well-designed classrooms could improve pupils' progress in lessons by as much as 25%.

"... Initial findings of a study by academics at Salford University showed a strong correlation between the built environment where teaching takes place and test results in reading, writing and maths.

"Lighting, circulation, acoustics, individuality and colour were revealed to affect pupils' progress in the year-long study of achievement by 751 children in seven primary schools in Blackpool. It found eight out of 10 environmental factors displayed significant correlations with the pupils' performance, and the report's authors concluded:
"This clear evidence of the significant impact of the built environment on pupils' learning progression highlights the importance of this aspect for policymakers, designers and users."

Unlike 'HOBBIT-HOMES' at Brent Cross [(c) 'Federation of Residents Associations of Barnet', not (c) Brian Coleman]...


"Park Hill: Eight-year renovation aiming at broad social mix transforms despised flats in Sheffield"

Link to The Guardian

"Renovation was handed to a private developer, Urban Splash. Now, after a tortuous eight-year project, during which the need to make the crumbling site more liveable repeatedly clashed with the conservation concerns of English Heritage, the first few dozen occupants of the renovated blocks are about to move in.

"... Charlie Johnson, a 22-year-old medical student, one set of exams from becoming a junior doctor, will move into a three-bedroom flat, financing the mortgage with rent from friends. He said: 
"I looked at a lot of modern flats, and they all seemed very boxy, almost like slightly posher student halls. This is different – it's spacious and well designed. It looks slightly strange with posh new flats right next to the others, but that's the sort of mix you get in all city centres."

Link to Urban Splash web site

2012-12-29

Barnet Times: "Secretary of State Eric Pickles gives go-ahead to rail freight plans near Radlett." (And harmed the chances of a Brent Cross one*)

(* although smaller, specialized ones are still possible.)

Link to Barnet Times

"The Secretary of State has given the go-ahead to a controversial proposal to build a rail freight terminal on the Midland Rail Line [Thameslink] near Radlett.

"Eric Pickles announced on the morning of Friday 21st December that the site will go ahead, despite objections from residents, politicians and councils."

"The Age of the Train - The history of the British Inter-City 125 train"




BBC: "In 1976 a new high-speed train, the Inter-City 125, helped save British Rail, an unfashionable nationalised industry suffering from a financial crisis, industrial relations problems and a poor public image. [Just like Barnet Council, then.]

"The train was launched with the help of a memorable advertising campaign, fronted [unfortunately] by Sir Jimmy Savile, which announced that the 1980s would be the 'Age of the Train'. BR had an energetic new boss, Sir Peter Parker, who was determined to revive the railways. The result was a typically British success story, full of surprises and setbacks, as this [hour-long video] shows."

More text: BBC Four



Fifteen years earlier, the 'Midland Pullman' was another attempt at modernisation...


2012-12-28

The Guardian: "Workers face 'hard year of slog' in 2013"


Link to web site

"Workers can expect longer hours, a continued squeeze on pay and fewer jobs being created in a "hard year of slog" in 2013, a report has warned.

"Job insecurity will remain high, with workers maintaining a 'grin and bear it' attitude, said John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist.

"... GDP may grow somewhat faster but 2013 will be another year of hard slog, with longer hours for those lucky enough to have jobs, and a further squeeze on living standards for workers and the jobless alike."

CNN: "How safe are Cosmetics?"





"Learn about categories of products of particular concern, plus look up safety rankings of the products you use with EWG's Skin Deep database."

EWG's Skin Deep Database
Visit the world's largest database of chemicals in cosmetics to assess the toxicity of your favorite products and find safer alternatives. Skin Deep assesses 68,000 personal care products using the most reputable science sources, and assigns each product a score from 0-10 (10 is most toxic). We recommend choosing products in the 0-2 range.

Brazilian Keratin Hair Straighteners
The news has focused mostly around one brand, Brazilian Blowout, but many brands of Brazilian keratin smoothing treatments contain high levels of formaldehyde.

Pink-Ribbon Cosmetics
Pinkwashing: A term used to describe companies that position themselves as leaders in the fight against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease.


Raining Pink Ribbons
The pink ribbon was originally neither pink nor was it intended to be used as a marketing tool.

Fragrance
Fragrance is considered a trade secret, so companies don't have to list the often dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds it contains.

Lead in Lipstick
Lead in lipstick? Turns out, the urban legend is true.

Contaminants in Bath Products
Does baby shampoo need to contain cancer-causing chemicals? No – but it often does.

Nail Products and Salons
Nail polish, polish removers and artificial nail products contain a host of toxic chemicals.

Natural and Organic Products
Think "pure, natural and organic" really means pure, natural and organic? Surprise!

Men's Products
Think men don't use cosmetics? Think again.

Nanotechnology
This emerging technology is almost entirely untested for its health effects, and no requirements exist for either testing or labeling these products.





Link to 'Story of Stuff' video on cosmetics

2012-12-22

Hammerson: "SHOPPERS FLOCK TO CENTRES FOR CHRISTMAS TREATS"



"Hammerson's portfolio of prime shopping centres has already attracted [by 20 Dec] over 11.8 million shoppers in December across the UK during the peak Christmas shopping period.

"December 16th was the busiest Sunday ever at Highcross in Leicester [above] since the centre opened in 2008, with footfall up 30% on the previous year.

"In Aberdeen, at Hammerson's Union Square shopping centre over 150 temporary staff have been recruited by retailers to help cope with the demand over the festive season. Retailers including Paperchase and jewellery store Rox have brought in extra tills to make shopping more enjoyable during the rush.

"On the top of shoppers' Christmas lists this year are treats and luxuries as people trade in novelty gifts for more considered purchases. Technology products trend continues to perform strongly [sic] with the iPad mini, wireless music systems and headphones selling well. Foodie purchases including baking and cookware items are also proving popular gifts for under the tree.

"At Brent Cross in North London the latest must have items this Christmas are Hear-Muffs, a cross between ear muffs and headphones, which John Lewis is selling at a rate of one pair every seven minutes. Also flying off the shelves [sic] are thermal gloves that work with the touch screen on a phone or tablet.



"David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive commented:
"Consumers have started their Christmas shopping later this year, but the festive season is now well and truly underway. People are looking to spend their money wisely this year and there has been there has been a significant shift to a more thoughtful approach to buying gifts."

"The strong performance in the run up to Christmas is encouraging and we expect to see strong footfall and retail sales during the post Christmas sales rush."
"Hammerson's shopping centre portfolio comprises:
Union Square in Aberdeen, Silverburn in Glasgow, Bullring in Birmingham, Highcross in Leicester, Queensgate in Peterborough, Brent Cross in North London, The Oracle in Reading, WestQuay in Southampton, Centrale in Croydon and Cabot Circus in Bristol."



Link to Amplience web site

"Beyond eCommerce. How will you engage consumers in the new omni-channel era?"

"With the growth in use of tablets and smartphones, touch screen mobile devices are set to overtake the desktop web for eCommerce sales within the next few years. Download our Top 10 Tips to find out how to engage consumers and gain value from these channels.

"Inherent within the proliferation of mobile is the rise of social media for communication, sharing and rating, with this in mind, it is essential that retailers and brands understand the opportunities that these channels have to offer and recognise how they must adapt their experiences and offerings to suit each platform.

Download the whitepaper to discover our top 10 tips, including:
  • The importance of location awareness
  • Why weighty interactions are good
  • How play adds to profit, and
  • Why you may wish to blur the lines between brand and social. [Presumably the "wish" is because ethics and even legality may be involved.]

2012-12-21

A Cunning Plan from Hammerson in 2013?


The Guardian:
"Trench warfare as UK economy ends 2012 where it started"

Link to The Guardian

"The British economy will end 2012 pretty much where it started. There has been no growth, and no real progress in reducing the government's budget deficit.

"In military terms, it has been like the western front in 1916: the troops have edged forward a bit, then back a bit, but after a year of attrition the front line has not moved.

"... The two pieces of slightly more cheery news were that household real disposable income rose in the third quarter, and that there was a narrowing of Britain's balance of payments deficit. Households banked some of their rising income, resulting in an increase in the savings ratio and this, together with the boost from investment income, hinted at a gentle rebalancing of the economy.

"But the big picture remains unchanged. The air is thick with talk of a triple-dip recession and a possible credit downgrade. 

"Osborne, comfortably billeted a long way back from the front line, insists there is no alternative to his strategy and that it will work given time. Another year of trench warfare looms."



Link to web site

Evening Standard:
"Jobs growth in City helps London double boost to UK coffers"

"London's contribution to the nation’s coffers has doubled over the last financial year, helped by a rise in City jobs as well as the Olympic Games and Queen’s Jubilee.

"The greater London economy paid £10 billion more in tax revenues than it received in 2011-12, according to forecasts from the City of London Corporation and Oxford Economics. That is up from a £5.1 billion surplus for 2010-11.

"... The report predicts that almost 80% of the new jobs generated in London between now and 2025 will be in the professional and financial services sectors, compared to just less than 60% between 2000-12. London’s fiscal surplus is forecast to grow to just over £50 billion by 2025."

Evening Standard: "Cycle lanes for undertaking buses"


Link to Evening Standard

"Bus stops are to be redesigned to prevent cyclists being forced into traffic as they ride past buses picking up passengers.

"The designs are to be tested on one of Boris Johnson’s 'cycle superhighways' during its extension to the Olympic Park, to improve safety at one of London’s busiest gyratory systems.

"Cycle lanes will be cut into pavements to allow cyclists to pass to the left of stationary buses, rather than having to move into the car lane."

The City of London, Home of Hammerson's Director of Regeneration from 2003 (there's something of the knight about him)

"A film about the City of London, the Corporation that runs it, and its role in the economic crisis." (Link)

Secret City ‘should be required viewing for all politicians’

"Using music, film clips and face to face interviews, Secret City lifts the veil of secrecy and fake pageantry  behind which the City of London, and its financial hub, hides its ugly face. I was particularly struck by the telling metaphor from Doreen Massey of an enormous dead tree, under whose stifling branches nothing will grow, as an image of how the city has destroyed the once flourishing small business and manufacturing life of the rest of London. It should be required viewing for all politicians."

Maureen Duffy

Screenings:


Link to:
Hammerson's 'Michael Bear and Men in Tights'


Plus: Link to:
Hammerson and the Tax Haven development of Brent Cross.

2012-12-20

Brent Cross shopping centre overpackaging: The alternative


"It sells everything you could ever need for a great meal.
There's only one catch – 
it won't give you anything to take it all home in."
Link to The Independent

"If you ever find yourself eyeing the kitchen bin guiltily, with its vast mound of plastic packets, cardboard containers and wrappers, you might be interested to know there's a whole movement that aims to go one better than even recycling: precycling, or cutting out packaging in the first place.

"Among those at the forefront of this consumer revolution is Unpackaged, a first-of-its-kind shop that eschews all packaging and invites customers to bring in their own containers and Tupperware to stock up on essentials such as flour, cereals, nuts, pasta, rice, lentils and so on. Bring bottles for oils, apple juice, wine and even gin. Simply weigh your container when you arrive so it can be deducted from the overall weight and then get filling. 

"Not only will you save money but by foregoing packaging you'll reduce the amount of material waste being either sent to landfills or incinerated."


Why Packaging?
"It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short-life products and then just dumping them back into the ground. It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, its just so last century."
(Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21 2005)

The Problem with Packaging
Whilst some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, unnecessary packaging is a waste:  
  • Cost: It increases the price of the goods you buy. You are charged twice – first when you buy overpackaged products and then through council tax for disposing of your rubbish.
  • Waste: It wastes resources at every level: production, storage, transport and disposal.
  • Pollution: Landfill and incineration are the two main ways of dealing with un-recyclable packaging waste. These are major pollutants for people and the environment as they release greenhouse gases.
"What about recycling? While some packaging is recycled, most ends up in landfill sites and some packaging is difficult and impossible to recycle. Recycling is certainly part of the solution, but it will only work if we use less packaging and adopt more ‘reusable’ ways of doing things – Unpackaged is based on this ethos. Remember:
  • Reduce by only buying what you need
  • Reuse by bringing your containers for a refill
  • Recycle what you can’t reuse.
"And… if you can’t reuse or recycle it, then don’t buy it!"

"Barnet is looking for planning officers" (Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes)



"Barnet is looking for planning officers, to assist in the delivery of an efficient and effective planning service. 

"We are looking for an individual with varied experience within a development management role at a senior level.

"The successful applicant will need to;
  • demonstrate their ability to work on their own initiative
  • be enthusiastic, have excellent communication and organisational skills
  • be committed to putting our customers first and be innovative and forward thinking.

"Main duties and responsibilities:
  • Process a wide range of planning applications including presenting cases to planning committees;
  • Defend council decisions at appeal;
  • Give professional advice in person and over the telephone to customers and colleagues;
  • Deal with day to day written correspondence.

"We are looking to appoint at the higher end of the salary scale subject to experience.

"If shortlisted, you will be required to bring photographic ID to your interview to prove your identity."

Growth of new political lobby: Cyclists


Evening Standard:
"700,000 cycled to work during Olympic Games"

Link to web site

"Londoners took to their bikes in massive numbers during the Olympics to escape packed Tubes and buses, figures reveal today.

As the Tube carried the greatest number of passengers in its history, the number of cyclists on the capital’s streets was 19 per cent higher than the same two-week period last year.

There was an even bigger rise during the Paralympics — which coincided with the end of the school holidays — when 32 per cent more Londoners travelled by bike.

The London Cycling Campaign said the statistics supported its call for 'Dutch-style' segregated cycle lanes. A spokesman said:
"A real legacy for the Olympics would be if Boris Johnson stood by his 2012 election promises to redesign our streets and junctions to make cycling and walking in London safe and inviting for everyone."

Evening Standard: "High Street fears mount as sales fail to rebound"


Link to web site

"Fears that consumers are reining in their spending ahead of Christmas were fuelled today after it emerged that sales volumes failed to rebound last month.

"A predicted return to growth did not materialise, with official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing flat sales volumes between October and November.

"It comes after a much-worse-than-expected drop in October when retail sales volumes fell 0.8% month on month."

2012-12-19

[Reposted from Nov 2010] Bestway seeks to confirm London Borough of Brent within Allied Forces

Little known, but decisive, 
Battle of the Edgware Road, 1804

Message to LB of Brent, from Bestway (which owns a site on the A5 at Brent Cross)

"IT IS reassuring to hear that LB Brent continues to object to the BXC application, and also that it appreciates the damaging implications for north London, if the scheme is developed in its current form.

The Northern Line Extension, Nine Elms: "Public transport infrastructure for massive regeneration scheme" (Sob,sob)


(Click to enlarge)

"The Northern line extension (NLE) from Kennington will provide the fast, high capacity transport link, needed to support a major increase in the number of residents and businesses based in Nine Elms on the South Bank. It would provide two new tube stops within the area – one would be located on Wandsworth Road and the other at Battersea Power Station.
"The scheme would be funded largely through a levy on the area’s development sites and through future growth in business rates revenue. Three years of detailed planning and design work are already been complete and the scheme received widespread backing during its first and second round public consultations.  Transport for London is now preparing a planning application for the scheme under the Transport and Works Act which it expects to submit in 2013.  The new Tube link could open for business by 2019.

"The Government pledged its support for the Northern line extension in the Chancellor’s 2011 Autumn Statement.

"Find out more about the plans to extend the Northern Line on the TFL website.

Driving Growth
"An independent study by leading economic consultancy Volterra has concluded that the wider economic benefits of extending the Northern line would pay for the scheme between three and nine times over.

"The Volterra’s economic benefits study concluded that the new Tube link would:
  • expand the Central London Activity Zone – one of the most productive commercial districts in the world.
  • generate up to £7.9bn in wider economic benefits and up to £4.5 billion in additional tax revenue for the Exchequer.
  • repay the money spent delivering the NLE between three and nine times over through increased economic outputs and increased foreign investment in the UK .
  • more than treble the number new of jobs created in the area – up to 25,000
  • provide capacity for 16,000 new homes in the area."

(Click to enlarge)

Our Vision
"The greatest transformational story at the heart of the world’s greatest city.

"This is how we see Nine Elms on the South Bank and how important the area’s regeneration is for the boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth, the rest of London and the UK economy as a whole. This is the last piece of the central London jigsaw and will complete the redevelopment of the South Bank.

"The area will become an ultra-modern, exciting destination in central London offering 16,000 new homes, 25,000 new jobs, new schools, parks, culture and the arts."

[We just get Hammerson 'Living Bridge' (sic).]

Link to Nine Elms web site

The Partnership
"The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership was created in 2010 to coordinate and drive forward the transformation of an entire district of Central London. Co-chaired by the leaders of Wandsworth and Lambeth Council, it includes the area’s main developers and landowners, the Mayor of London, Transport for London and the Greater London Authority.

"It is responsible for setting and delivering the strategic vision for the area, including the £1 billion infrastructure investment package."

[We just get B-list Hammerson, and dysfunctional Barnet's ever-changing Regeneration Team.]

2012-12-18

Dune at Brent Cross Shopping Centre - plus Christmas Opening Hours



"Offering unique designs, premium customer service and an unparalleled combination of quality and fashion-forward trends, Dune is the go-to destination for women and men’s footwear.

"Visit the Dune store at Brent Cross's Upper Mall, to try on this season’s latest footwear collections."



The Brent Cross Christmas Survey
"At Brent Cross, Christmas is a favourite time of the year! We never tire of hearing interesting facts & figures about shopping, especially at this time of year, but most of all we're always interested to hear feedback from our customers!

"We'd love to know a bit more about your shopping experience here in the centre over the festive period, so why not fill us in by filling out our Christmas survey? It'll only take 1 minute, and is sure to make the elves smile!" [sic]

Just click the link below:
http://svy.mk/SFPBH8



The Guardian: "High house prices? Inequality? I blame the Normans"


One in the eye for The Guardian

"I have come to a slightly disquieting conclusion: we are still being governed by Normans.

"Take house prices. According to the author Kevin Cahill, the main driver behind the absurd expense of owning land and property in Britain is that so much of the nation's land is locked up by a tiny elite. Just 0.3% of the population – 160,000 families – own two thirds of the country. Less than 1% of the population owns 70% of the land, running Britain a close second to Brazil for the title of the country with the most unequal land distribution on Earth.

"Much of this can be traced back to 1066. The first act of William the Conqueror, in 1067, was to declare that every acre of land in England now belonged to the monarch. This was unprecedented: Anglo-Saxon England had been a mosaic of landowners. Now there was just one."

2012-12-16

Greater London Authority: "Barriers to Housing Delivery"


Link to report (PDF)

"Concerned to realise the considerable housing potential of the development capacity in London's planning pipeline [sic], and to explore how the construction sector can make a greater contribution to economic recovery, the Mayor commissioned independent consultants to identify the barriers to housing delivery in the capital.

"The report suggests that considerable private sector construction activity is underway, but has yet to inform official statistics. However, because nearly half the private sector capacity in the pipeline is controlled by companies who, for a range of reasons, are unlikely to actually build, [now, who might that be?] the full potential of the pipeline is unlikely to be realised. 

"This is not the only barrier to delivery. Others include the amount of new housing on individual sites which can be absorbed by local markets; funding constraints; capacity among 'active' builders and the need for consistency in the national planning regime. Of a lesser order are constraints imposed by some of the bodies involved in local and strategic planning bodies in London.

"On 8th February 2013, the Mayor proposes to hold a symposium for strategic partners in private sector housing development to discuss the consultant’s recommendations and ways of addressing them. For further details, contact jonathan.finch@london.gov.uk."


5.1 PLANNING SYSTEM

"By and large, the developers Molior interviewed had very positive things to say about local authority planners and the GLA. That isn’t to say there weren’t some gripes and moans – but the consensus seems to be that workable deals are struck eventually, and that the planning system is flexible and helpful.

"The main concern amongst developers is the speed at which the planning system operates – there is a general feeling that the planning system doesn’t appreciate that time is money.

"We are told that pre-application negotiations have become elongated. One person familiar with the way the system is working observed that planners might consider ‘time’ to be their main negotiating tool. Some planning departments are considered under staffed.

"Interviewees also commented on a perceived skills gap in some planning departments.

"A third area of concern is the range of borough specific requirements which are unhelpful. Examples would include: 
  • The requirement to replace employment space (Lewisham / Hackney) even when the space is un-lettable. 
  • The inflexibility over required affordable housing quantities (Islington). 
  • The inflexibility over affordable housing mix (Tower Hamlets). 
  • The borough’s own development standards (Islington).
"A fourth concern is the speed with which local planning policy alters following changes in national guidance. Officers seem to be too keen to stick with adopted policy when national guidance changes in favour of developers, but are quicker to react with changes in the opposite direction. One might comment that such behaviour is only natural.

"Finally, there is also evidence of what we would prefer to call ‘questionable’ local authority behaviour. To Molior as an outside observer the behaviour of a minority of planning officers is, at best, bullying. At worse … the words we would like to use would almost certainly be struck from this report by the GLA’s legal team. 

"Developers are loath to take a confrontational stance against such behaviour, as they are aware they need to continue working with the boroughs in the medium and long term. The situation is reminiscent of the kid in the playground being bullied, but not telling anyone – because if they do, they are concerned the bullying will get worse."


Link to:
"... Hammerson has planning permission for an expansion
of its shopping centre in Brent Cross, 
but it is understood conditions imposed
have made going ahead uneconomic."
[here]

2012-12-15

Angle-French Hammerson, and the Future of Europe



"In his new book, The Re-emergence of Europe, World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab examines the events that have led to Europe’s current challenging political and financial climate.

"By looking at potential solutions through social, political and economic lenses, the book suggests likely outcomes to what Europe will look like in the future.

"Drawing on a career spanning five decades of change in European and world affairs, Professor Schwab looks beyond the short-term to consider the long-term implications that global trends and challenges will have on the region. How can Europe remain true to its social democratic traditions and yet return to the top of global competitiveness? How can it best make use of its human capital to become a leader again in innovation and sustainability?

"The Re-emergence of Europe acknowledges that Europe is not through the pain barrier yet and that greater integration and structural reform must be undertaken. The challenge for Europe’s leaders, he sees, is to present a vision that is bold yet inclusive, that takes account of younger people’s aspirations and leaves no one behind.

"Optimistic that this can be achieved, he believes Europe [and Hammerson?] 'will even surprise us positively' again.

The Re-emergence of Europe

2012-12-14

TfL: "Transport for London Business community backs the case for stable and sustained investment in London's transport services"


EXCEPT ISOLATED,
OUT-OF-TOWN ONES.

LIKE BRENT CROSS.

Link to
TfL Business Plan PDF

"A survey shows strong support from businesses for investment in the capital's transport infrastructure, to support jobs, economic development and growth in London and across the UK.

"As the Board of Transport for London (TfL) considered the organisation's Business Plan, a survey by ComRes has shown that there is significant support among the business community for the Mayor and TfL's case for stable and sustained levels of funding for the Capital's transport network, to support economic development and growth in London and across the UK.

"Businesses cited the upgrade of the Tube, construction of Crossrail and investment in roads as their top three investment priorities for TfL."

(More)

Evening Standard: Zombie Commercial Property Loans: "Why pretending protects the banks"


Link to web site

"Lenders dare not disclose the true value of [commercial property] assets, for fear of the consequences.

"... Nobody wants to rock the boat. Pretending helps the banks. But it is extending the recovery of the commercial property market. 
...

"... There has also been a dramatic increase in the cost of financing commercial property deals in the last six months.

"Since 2008 interest charges have soared by 56% - and fee costs by 25%. At the same time the amount the bank is willing to advance has dropped from 80% to 60% of what they judge the building to be worth."



Link to Evening Standard
"We must avoid the lost decade that still blights Japan"

"Earlier this week Business Secretary Vince Cable was asked if something similar [to the Japanese 'lost decade'] could happen here — being Vince, he said it could. The similarities are disconcerting.

"For a time the British also thought they had cracked it as we surged to prosperity on a debt-fuelled finance-driven bubble of easy credit and soaring house prices. Gordon Brown told us, correctly and often, that never before had the UK enjoyed such a long period of uninterrupted growth.

"But it burst in 2008, and since then we have struggled with the legacy. Much, though by no means all, of Britain is crushed under a mountain of debt, with bust banks, crippled companies and under-water households all keeping the wolves at bay thanks to rock-bottom interest rates but actually going nowhere and with no way of escape other than bankruptcy.

"These are the zombie households and zombie companies which the outgoing Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, said he was so worried about late last month, and which are a huge drag on the bits of the economy which would otherwise have the capacity to grow."

2012-12-13

Hammerson recruits from the Magic Kingdom



New director at Hammerson

Hammerson has appointed Jean-Philippe Mouton to its Board as an executive director, with effect from 1 January 2013.

He is currently managing director for France, a position he has held since 2009. He will retain management responsibility for France, as well as assuming responsibility for Group marketing.

Mr Mouton joined Hammerson in 2003 to head up property leasing, development and asset management in France. In February 2006, he assumed responsibility for management of the French portfolio as director of operations for Hammerson France.

Prior to joining Hammerson, He worked for Disneyland Paris as strategic planning director, and previously was with Standard Chartered Bank.

The Guardian: "Silicon Roundabout: Tech City to pioneer a radical new public space"


Dismissed as a trophy project for David Cameron's Big Society, a bold new plan by Architecture 00:/ aims to take the workspaces of the future to London's East End

Link to web site

"As David Cameron announced plans to invest £50m in a 'visionary project' to regenerate the Old Street roundabout at the heart of east London's 'Tech City cluster' last week, it should have come as no surprise that the reaction was less than warm.

" 'As well as backing the businesses of today, we are creating an aspiration nation and also backing the innovative, high-growth businesses of the future,' Cameron proclaimed at the LSE's Urban Age conference on Thursday. 

" 'That's why we're investing in creating the largest civic space in Europe – a place for startup companies and the local community to come together and become the next generation of entrepreneurs'."




Boris Johnson was at the Urban Age Conference
(but don't let that put you off)

Link to more videos



00:/ 
is a London-based strategy & design practice. 

"With a foundation in delivering award-winning architecture and commissioned research into the built environment, we are driven by an aspiration to create genuinely sustainable places founded on evidenced social, economic, and environmental principles.

"We are currently working with a broad spectrum of clients and collaborators on a range of innovative projects from new civic institutions, neighbourhood development strategies, and self-led housing masterplans to new service delivery infrastructures for healthcare, learning, and creative enterprise, alongside a number of ultra-low-energy private houses."

2012-12-12

[Reposted] And despite the quick-profit horizons of the developers, it was decided a justified transport solution for Brent Cross's expansion was light-rail...


'Past the Brent Cross shopping centre car parks,
via the lower-rise business campus than was orginally planned,
and towards Brent Cross Northern Line tube station'
(click to enlarge)




"The entrance to Bockenheimer Warte station in Frankfurt"
Link to Daily Telegraph images


Link to:
"Hammerson & Standard Life reinstate larger Welsh Harp..."