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

2013-10-30

Willesden: Stop another copy of the Brent Cross waste incinerator!



A message from
Willesden Incinerator Campaign

It is fighting a plan that is identical to this
Brent Cross waste incinerator plan below,
from the same off-shore tax-haven company...

(Click for link)
which is actually a second waste incinerator plan
for Brent Cross, the first being...

(Click for link)

STOP THE INCINERATOR IN NW10

The site visit is about 10.30am
so please assemble from 10am
this Saturday 2 November

PLEASE JOIN US at the site in Channel Gate Road, off Old Oak Lane, NW10

FROM 10am ONWARDS to be ready to (respectfully) greet the Ealing councillors

Please bring your Banners and Placards –

a BROLLY, and a huge amount of POSITIVE SPIRIT

(That means HOPE by the way, NOT GIN!!!)

WE CAN WIN……….

WE JUST NEED TO SHOW EALING THAT THERE IS COLOSSAL OPPOSITION TO THIS HORRENDOUS SCHEME

Now it’s down to each and every person to contact all their friends and neighbours

We need at least 500 people there on Saturday

then they will see how much people DO CARE

Don’t let a bit of rain keep you away, we need everyone to be there!

Don’t forget we will never have this CHANCE again !


and on Twitter


Link to Brent & Kilburn Times

2013-10-29

Hammerson, Transport for London, and LB of Barnet in trial of driverless pods at Brent Cross Cricklewood: "A science fiction future" (+ video)


Link to road.cc web site

"... If the trial of the concept – due to begin in 2015 and last two years – is successful, it could be rolled out to other cities in Britain, transforming the urban environment and the way people get around.

"The Milton Keynes trial [we lied about the location] is a joint initiative between publicly-funded body The Automotive Council UK, Cambridge University, and engineering firm Arup.

"A similar system, developed by a Bristol-based company, is already in operation at London Heathrow Airport, to ferry passengers to and from the Terminal 5 car park."

"What's the best post-war building?" (Not the Brent Cross Shopping Centre? Never mind, there's always Allies & Morrison's Brent Cross Shopping Centre 2)


Link to BBC website

"From large public buildings to sprawling private homes of concrete and glass, English Heritage is celebrating post-war era architecture with its exhibition Brutal and Beautiful: Saving the 20th Century.

"The exhibition is open until 24 November 2013 at Wellington Arch in central London.

2013-10-28

Evening Standard: "Build up or build out — where should new homes go?"


Link to web site

"There are around 4,000 hectares of brownfield land in London: enough to build just 20 per cent of the houses we will need over the next 20 years.

"This means there are only two realistic options: build up or build out. The first of these — building up with tower blocks — should be approached with real caution. Ask people where they want to live and few will say the 14th floor. Ask people whether they want to live next door to a high-rise and the answer will be similarly negative.

"The second option — building out — brings its own challenges. More homes on London’s outer ring would demand much better transport into the capital. But the biggest barrier here is political. Politicians of all sides are terrified of being accused of wanting to 'pave over the countryside'. That’s why Boris Johnson is still bluffing about London’s 'brownfield opportunity areas'."

The Guardian: "UK economic recovery built on shaky foundations - again"


Link to web site

"A book published just before Blair left Downing Street described Britain as Fantasy Island. Its thesis was that the economy was built on shaky foundations, and that an almighty crash was coming.

"... There are four ways in which an economy grows. Companies can decide they need new kit (investment); Britain can sell more overseas than other countries sell here (net exports); the state can play a bigger role (government spending) or households can spend more (consumption).

"It has been the last of these sources of growth that has driven the rise in GDP since the turn of the year. Prices have been rising more rapidly than earnings, but that has not stopped consumers for going out on a bit of a spree. They have dipped into their savings and started to respond to the offers of unsecured lending, which, after a lull of a few years, have started to drop onto the doormat once again.

"... Most likely, growth will be dependent on easy money, rising debt and a temporary fall in inflation, prompted by falling food and commodity prices. It may take a couple of years before Britain again steams into the harbour on Fantasy Island, but if you look toward the horizon it's easy to see the palm trees swaying in the breeze."

2013-10-26

Hammerson and Standard Life perform U-turn, and partly finance both cycle path and Brent Cross Light Railway (you can cycle across it, by the way)


Go full screen, and enjoy the autumn colour (US: fall color)

Posher clothing companies at Brent Cross? "Primark attacks rivals over Bangladesh disaster support"


Link to Evening Standard

"Bosses of discount retailer Primark have attacked rivals for not doing more to support the survivors and families of those killed in the Rana Plaza Bangladesh factory disaster.

"A statement from the business said:
"Primark is calling on other brands involved in the Rana Plaza disaster to make a contribution, by paying short-term aid to some 3000 workers (or their dependants) who made clothes for their labels.

To date these workers have been supported by Primark, even though the workers involved did not make clothing for the company but for other brands."

Barnet Times, Barnet Press, Ham & High, and Brent & Kilburn Times









2013-10-24

London Borough of Brent: "Opening of London Designer Outlet: The Movie"


London Designer Outlet opened today


Link to RetailWeek

"The 350,000 sq ft London Designer Outlet scheme comprises 70 shops, 24 of which opened today, including Marks & Spencer, Nike and Superdry.

"The remaining shops will open by spring 2014. All stores offer up to 70% discounts on current season lines.

"Owner Quintain said that it has the largest catchment density for any UK outlet." [Whatever that means.]




According to the Brent & Kilburn Times, shops that have opened in the LDO today are:
Asics, Adidas, Bags ETC, Brasilian Barbeque, Bhavi Beauty, Cabana, Caffè Nero, Chaboba, Cineworld, Clarks, Coast to Coast, Costa Coffee, Daniel Footwear, Denby, Frankie & Benny’s, Gap, Guess, Handmade Burger Co, Jimmy’s, Las Iguanas, Lindt, LK Bennett, Nando’s, Onitsuka Tiger, Pavers, Pizza Express, ProCook, M&S, Nike, Pret, Prezzo, Skechers, Superdry, Starbucks, Sunglasses Hut, TGI Fridays, Tog 24, Villeroy & Boch, Viners, Wagamama and Zizzi. [That's enough shops. Ed.]

Evening Standard: "Buy a car as you shop at Westfield: Pop in to pick up your groceries... and then your £60,000 Tesla"


Link to web site

"Shoppers heading for the giant Westfield mall in Shepherds Bush can today add 'new car' to their shopping list of food and clothes.

"London’s first car showroom in a shopping centre opened this morning in a space near the Debenhams department store previously occupied by a sportswear chain.

"It will stock the £60,000 electric car Tesla Model S — driven by Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Cameron Diaz — in the 1,850 sq ft outlet.

"... The fifth anniversary of the shopping centre ... comes ahead of the start of construction of the £1 billion next phase of the mall, which will add a further 550,000 sq ft of shopping space and 1,550 new homes."

2013-10-23

The Independent: "Eurobonds scandal: The high street giants avoiding millions in tax"


Link to web site

"Many of Britain's best-known high street chains are avoiding millions of pounds in tax through the controversial Eurobonds scheme.

"Food chains including Nando's, Pizza Express, Café Rouge, Strada and Pret A Manger have cut their taxable profits by borrowing from their owners through the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. High street retailers doing the same include BHS, the electronics retailer Maplin, Office and Pets At Home.

"The revelations form the third part of an investigation by Corporate Watch and The Independent into major UK companies using the quoted Eurobond exemption, a regulatory loophole the Government knows about but has decided not to close."

The Guardian: "Unsocial housing? Gates within gates divide the 'haves' and 'have-nots'"


Link to web site

"The promotional blurb for High Point Village, a development of 600 new homes at Hayes, on the fringes of west London, claims it is a 'thoroughly modern mix of affordable and luxury accommodation ... carefully designed – engineered, almost – to offer an oasis of calm in an otherwise busy, driven world, and to give its residents a real sense of community that is sometimes lacking in more anonymous city developments'.

It's not quite how some of the residents in the development's 'affordable' homes section view it. Those either in social housing or in part-buy, part-rent accommodation claim they are treated as second-class citizens, citing the internal gates that divide them from their neighbours in the 'luxury' housing blocks. There is even a gate in the car park to divide the affordable residents from the other homeowners.

"... Adrian Gill, chairman of the High Point Village Residents Association, said:
"The difficulties we face within the development are, I think, a consequence of increasingly dense housing development – necessitated by the rapidly expanding population here in London – and simplistic and naive planning policy on the part of councils."

2013-10-22

Evening Standard: "Vince Cable: London house price boom is dangerous and unsustainable"


Link to web site

"House prices soaring at 10 per cent a month in London are 'dangerous and unsustainable', Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned.

"He said the capital was in the grip of an 'extreme problem' of affordability, with both property values and rents spiralling out of the reach of many families.

"Mr Cable told The Standard:
“What is happening is not just that house prices are rising, they are accelerating, and that clearly is dangerous and unsustainable,”

"There is an extreme problem of affordability, particularly but not only in London. Families on middle and low incomes can’t get anywhere near an average property in London. This is a very worrying trend."

Opening Thurs 24 Oct: "London Designer Outlet is set to become a shopping and leisure 
destination of choice." (Chosen over Hammerson's Brent Cross and Bicester Designer Village, presumably.)



Link to web site

"Opening 24 October, London Designer Outlet will be home to over 85 outlets, restaurants and cafes, as well as a 9-screen Cineworld complex, in an exciting, vibrant, contemporary and cosmopolitan environment. [Too many adjectives. Ed.]

"It is the destination for outlet shopping, eating and entertainment in the capital - open seven-days-a-week, morning to night.

"Get bargains from leading high street names, aspirational labels and lifestyle brands at outlet prices of up to 70% off RRP. Dine in relaxed and stylish surroundings; choose from a diverse selection of restaurants & cafés offering the best in 'around the world cuisine'."

"... London Designer Outlet is the only designer outlet within the M25, easily reached from central London by public transport, served by three tube lines and a main-line train line, as well as by London buses. It is only 12 minutes from Marylebone train station, and one km from the north circular road (A406) by car." [Whereas Brent Cross remains an out-of-town, car-based shopping centre.]


2013-10-19

Labour Party's Six Conditions for Hammerson's London Shopping Centre Investment


Link to Croydon Advertiser

"LABOUR'S parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central says she is the politician who will ensure the town 'wins' with Westfield/Hammerson.

"Sarah Jones has made the £1-billion regeneration of the Whitgift Centre the focus of her campaign, ahead of general election in 2015, ... saying:
"We're in a housing crisis, and it's absolutely right to ensure such a significant regeneration project does its bit to address it."
"Plans for the 1.4-million sq.ft. development are expected to be submitted to the council next month.



Link to Croydon Advertiser

"Conservative Party dismisses Labour Party's rival Hammerson Westfield plan as 'plain wrong'"

"CROYDON Central MP Gavin Barwell has described Sarah Jones's six-point Westfield/Hammerson plan as 'a mixed bag of things that are already happening and the plain wrong'.

"... He continued:
"She's wrong to argue that this should make up 40 per cent of all the housing built: what people want is to be able to afford their own home, and the Government and Croydon Council should be helping them to do that.

Labour’s instinct to load more and more costs onto developers is why a scheme like this never came forward when they were running the council. Sarah doesn’t appear to have learnt that lesson."

2013-10-18

Brent & Kilburn Times, Evening Standard, and Ham & High







Barnet Times: "Plans for £4billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration submitted by developers Hammerson and Standard Life Investments." (Late.)


Link to web site

"Plans for a £4billion regeneration that could transform Brent Cross into “world class” retail destination and town centre have been submitted to Barnet Council.

"The application, the biggest in the history of north west London, was handed to Barnet Council by shopping centre owners Hammerson and its project partner Standard Life Investments this week.

"Under the plans, more than 7,500 homes would be built and more than 27,000 jobs created in a huge new town centre with retail, dining, leisure and community facilities."

2013-10-16

Hammerson: "Big brands join Brent Cross"


Link to web site

"Hammerson and Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust, joint owners of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, have signed two new international retailers, Kiehls and Kipling.

"Securing the new brands coincides with Brent Cross undergoing a £1m refurbishment of Mall 5, home to the centre’s aspirational brands including Russell & Bromley, Whistles and Jaeger.

"The new investment will enhance the shopper experience with new finishes, speciality catering and facilities and is part of a sales-led strategy which will continue to introduce additional new brands to Brent Cross."

LB of Brent: "Drama in the Drum" (LB of Barnet: "Planning in the Bin" [Best we could do])


2013-10-10

Sick Public Relations Company 'FRANK PR' takes on Hammerson's Brent Cross, Croydon Centrale, Reading Oracle and Southampton WestQuay ("What's that?" "Oh, SLICK.")


Link to 'The Drum'

"Hammerson, the FTSE 100 real estate company, has appointed Frank PR to look after public relations for four of its shopping centres, [to] attempt to establish Brent Cross in North London, Centrale in Croydon, The Oracle in Reading and WestQuay in Southampton as lifestyle destinations, as well as manage crisis communications. [Plenty of scope there, then.]

Alex Grier, Frank PR's managing director, said:
"... We look forward to ..."
Stephen Brown, UK marketing director at Hammerson added:
"... and we look forward to ..."
Hammerson has been forced in the past month to reiterate its commitment to regeneration of city centres through retail, after cancelling projects worth a combined £1.4bn in Sheffield and Swansea."  [Not to mention Brent Cross Cricklewood.]

Sun 13 Oct: Finchley Society railway route walk


Evening Standard: "Dramatic rise in cyclists in London road 'revolution'"


Link to web site

"The number of Londoners cycling to work every day has more than doubled in the past decade, according to a new study.

"A 'cycling revolution' map based on the research reveals that Hackney, Lambeth and Wandsworth have the most cyclists. In Hackney, a fifth of residents in some areas cycle to work every day. Outer London boroughs showed less take-up."

2013-10-09

ITN: "Mobile public space transforms part of north London"


Link to web site

"Part of north west London which has no town hall, no library, no square and not even a single bench has been brought to life with a public space towed around on the back of a bike.

"Spacemakers, which helps regenerate towns and cities created 'Cricklewood Town Square'. It is a mobile public space which roamed across the area reclaiming forgotten patches of land, and transforming them into civic spaces for everyone to use."

The green space in Cricklewood
that Hammerson wants to destroy
- in Phase One!

2013-10-08

Wed 9 Oct: Friern Barnet Library: Railway Walk Slideshow


Northern Heights Walk



GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: "Help to Buy will not drive up house prices, says minister"


Link to The Guardian

"People who think there is a housing bubble 'need to get out more', a Treasury minister has said, as he defended the Help to Buy scheme on its launch day.

"Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, dismissed concerns that the scheme offering 95% mortgages backed by the state will push up house prices too much.

"He told Sky News that those criticising the scheme 'need to get out more' to areas of the country where house prices were not rising quickly."

GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: "David Cameron: 95 per cent mortgages will make 'dream of home ownership a reality'"


Link to Daily Telegraph

"Tens of thousands of home buyers will today be offered 95 per cent mortgages by state-owned banks in a move which David Cameron says will make the 'dream of home ownership a reality'.

"Mr Cameron said:
"From today, thousands of people will be able to get a foot on the housing ladder by applying for the new Help to Buy mortgage guarantee. If you've got 5 per cent of the funds for a mortgage deposit, we’re providing a guarantee to the banks to help you get the rest.

Help to Buy is going to make the dream of home ownership a reality for many who would otherwise have been shut out. This goes right to the heart of my vision for Britain – a country where everyone who works hard can get on in life."

2013-10-07

Local residents react to Hammerson's new Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application



"These are the oddly hilarious faces of spooked visitors at the Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The house is said to stand on the site of a former coffin factory where, legend has it, the owner was killed when a stack of caskets fell on him. Visitors are photographed at the moment they spot what seems to be a car full of ghosts about to run them over. The attraction is said to be so frightening that visitors have a safety word – 'nightmares' – which they can utter at any time to be escorted out." - The Guardian



Hammerson's Section 73 variation of existing Brent Cross planning permission approval:
Stakeholder feedback:


GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: "Help to Buy: demand may outstrip supply as lenders brace for stampede"


Link to The Guardian

"More than 600,000 homes on the market are eligible for inclusion in the £12bn second phase of the Help to Buy scheme, according to the latest in a series of surveys leading to predictions that lenders will be flooded by pent-up demand for the government-backed mortgages.

"Details of the 95% mortgages, which are available to existing homeowners as well as first-time buyers, are to be unveiled by the chancellor, with some banks expected to invite loan applications within hours of the Tuesday announcement. The second phase of the flagship scheme to give more first-time buyers and others wider access to the housing market was brought forward by three months, with a report from high street bank Santander claiming that up to 1.7 million people are planning to use the scheme."

"... Many experts have argued that the government should ditch the second phase of Help to Buy, because they fear it will artificially inflate house prices too much by ramping up demand at a faster rate than the supply of homes coming on the UK market."

2013-10-02

Good News on House Prices: Evening Standard: "Pace of housebuilding is fastest for almost 10 years"


Link to web site

"Britain's builders are putting up homes at the fastest pace for nearly a decade as the industry struggles to keep up with revived demand, the latest evidence from the sector showed today.

"Residential construction activity jumped at the sharpest rate since November 2003 during September, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, as the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and cheaper mortgages send buyers flooding into the market."

2013-10-01

[Reposted] Wed 2 Oct: Finchley Society railway route slideshow (repeated on Wed. 9 Oct at Friern Barnet Library)


"£18.2m scheme to extend Brent Cross Light Railway, promoted by Barnet Council" (Wish, wish)


Link to BBC Lancashire web site

"Blackpool's tram system is to be extended in an £18.2m scheme, and work could begin in 2015.

"The tramway will be extended from the promenade to Blackpool North railway station.

"The Department for Transport will contribute £16.4m towards the project, with Blackpool Council paying the rest."

"Hammerson don't design houses. But if they did..."


Link to Daily Telegraph

"The façade of the derelict mid-19th century property appears to have come loose from the roof and slid down into the front garden, leaving part of the upper floor exposed.

"It is, however, an illusion created by the 28-year-old artist Alex Chinneck, using materials, manufacturing skills and professional services donated by 10 companies."

Evening Standard: "Boris Johnson demands help on London homes: Mayor calls on George Osborne to do more to tackle crisis"


Link to web site

"Speaking to the conference hall in Manchester, Mr Johnson warned about the 'massive affordability gap' in the housing market, and his concern that too many ordinary Londoners are now even struggling to raise rental deposits. He said:
"We need to do so much more; we should consider allowing companies to make tax-free loans for rental deposits, as they can for childcare. George, I hope I am not exceeding my brief if I urge you to look at the baleful effects of stamp duty in London, which is stamping on the fingers of those who are trying to climb the property ladder."
"The Mayor, who has said he will deliver 100,000 new homes in the capital by the end of his second term, urged the Government to reduce restrictions on local authorities so they could build more."

Brent Cross Cricklewood area London borough in transparent democracy move (funnily enough, it's not Barnet)