.

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

2014-08-31

Works for some: The opposite of Hammerson's junk housing


Copper Lane review – London's first co-housing project strikes an elegant balance between communal living and leafy seclusion

Link to The Observer

"This sounds like the reality show from hell: seven adults and six children, not all known to each other at the start, get together to design and build six houses for themselves. They borrow money, buy a piece of land with no planning permission attached, hire architects, other professionals and a building contractor. They negotiate with each other as to who gets what bit of the project for what money.

"Six years later they move in. The builder has recently presented the final bill, making a total construction cost of £1.8m, against earlier, inevitably optimistic, estimates of £1.45m. "We've only just figured out how much each of us will pay," says one of the residents, Simon Bayly.

"Their development, called Copper Lane, has no private gardens or washing machines, but shared open spaces, a laundry and a communal room for parties, music and games, which have to be collectively managed and maintained. The project could have been a fusion of Big Brother, Changing Rooms and, for the bravado with which those involved seem to have taken on a possibly impossible task, The Apprentice. Yet, far from sinking into a stew of acrimony, they seem to be on as good terms as ever, as they discuss who gets to use the new communal leaf-blower.

"... It has the added advantage of being cost-effective, as other houses in the area of similar size can sell for 40% more than the cost of those at Copper Lane, which is not to say it's exactly the solution to southern England's notorious housing problems. It is too singular for that, the creation of an unusual group of individuals who had the advantage of having some property to start with. But, compared with the stacked-up investment units that pass for much new housing, it's an appealing model."


2014-08-30

Proudlock Associates appointed by Brent Cross developers as disability consultants



"Proudlock Associates are award winning disability and inclusive design consultants. We specialise in access auditing of buildings, access strategies, access statements and access appraisals.

"We produce award winning solutions for clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

"We deliver top quality work through qualified and experienced staff.

"We will guide you to comply with the Building Regulations and work with you towards meeting your duties under the Equality Act 2010. Furthermore, we want you to win awards for excellence and we will show you how to achieve the best practice standard."


"Proudlock Associates is proud to be the author of the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) inclusive design guides. RICS members can see some of our work and news/articles on inclusive design at the isurv members’ area of the RICS website."



Events and Conferences:
"We provide experienced and capable speakers for conferences and workshops on the Equality Act, Inclusive Design, Disability and Inclusion. Please get in touch to talk about your speaker requirements."



London Communications Agency:
Brent & Kilburn Times

Barnet Times: Brent Cross shopping centre, high streets and air pollution



2014-08-29

Don't think for one minute that Hammerson executives aren't capable of important, creative and intelligent press releases. Oh, no. Don't think that for one minute. No siree!



"The selfie is dead - long live the 'ph-oodie'"

28.08.2014

"An in-depth study of Hammerson's social media feeds proves that the selfie is on the way out, and is being replaced by a new major trend - the ph-oodie.

"The phoodie, an amalgamation of 'photo' and the popular tag 'foodie', is an individual who religiously snaps their food exploits, and then shows off their tasty treats across their social media feeds to friends and followers. [They have friends?]

"Hammerson, who own and manage some of the UK's best-loved shopping centres including Bullring and Brent Cross, discovered the phoodie trend by looking at the social media channels across its UK portfolio. The analysis saw that more than half of the photographs uploaded on social media were now of food, surpassing fashion for the first time.

"Hammerson also mapped a host of other trends; for example, the item UK phoodies love to show off most is the humble burger, however, the single most popular dish was Wagamama's Katsu Curry, meaning that it now could be trumping the classic korma as the UK's most popular meal.
Starbucks is the brand that achieved the most social media mentions, with the coffee chain dominating 65 per cent of uploads.  Our obsession with getting our caffeine hit could also link to the fact that the biggest spike in phoodie uploads came at 11am, with dinner time surprisingly being low down on the list.

"Regionally, there are also some distinct trends; the Birmingham phoodie is an American aficionado, with Krispy Kreme and Ed's Easy Diner being the most popular dining spots for Bullring [sic] customers. In London, however, most Brent Cross shoppers preferred to upload snaps of their delights from Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Lola's Cupcakes.

"Sophie Ross, Group Head of Multichannel at Hammerson commented:
"I've lost the will to live. [Oh no, she didn't say that. What she did say was:] Although our retail destinations are well known for their fashion credentials, we started to notice that our social media feeds were dominated by food, hence why [tautology] we have coined the new tribe of social media uploaders 'the phoodies' [it was a quiet day].

We were very surprised by some of the results; we are extremely busy in the evenings with our superb dining offering, but it seems that our customers use 11am as their most prevalent time to post on social media as they treat themselves with coffees, cupcakes and sweet treats."

ENDS
Notes to Editors 

Hammerson own and manage 11 major shopping centres in the UK, including Brent Cross in North London, Bullring, Birmingham, Victoria Quarter in Leeds and The Oracle in Reading. Hammerson also owns 22 retail parks and is an investor in nine premium designer outlet villages across Europe including Bicester Village.

For further information please contact:
Catrin Sharp, Group Head of Media
catrin.sharp@hammerson.com
+ 44 (0)20 7887 1063



"Frank PR? Catrin here. What's that load of £$%^&* you've given us? We're being ridiculed here. Yes ridiculed! Call yourself a PR outfit? I've heard better PR from Genghis Khan."





"Some of our bankers, some of our lawyers, some of our property market": How London Fuels Corruption: Anthea Lawson at TEDx Houses of Parliament




Published on Jul 10, 2014

"Anthea Lawson is a campaigns director with Global Witness, a not for profit organisation that investigates the economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction, and campaigns to change the system. In this talk she tells the story of how London has become a hub for corrupt money, and outlines what should be done to stop this."

"Tax Justice Network: For more on the British role, see here or here or here."

Sat 13 Sep: Cricklewood Open Studios



"Steel lettering crowns the restored facade along Cricklewood Broadway. Beautiful brickwork and architectural details set off with colorful canopies that recall the early days of traders along the Broadway."
Saturday September 13th: 11am - 6pm

"Cricklewood Open Studios is where local artists and makers invite you to visit their studios and see the great work they do, where they do it.

"A studio might be a garage, a spare room, a warehouse or a shed. It's a great chance to view and discuss how artists and craftspeople work, to share ideas, buy work or just quietly enjoy visiting. The only requirement is your curiosity.

"There will also be a couple of historical walking tours of Cricklewood on Sunday 14th.

It's all free to attend, so please join in and help us make the most of Cricklewood's creative talents at our first Open Studios."


"The Cricklewood Town Team (previously Cricklewood Improvement Programme – CIP) was created by Cricklewood Homeless Concern in partnership with a group of Cricklewood residents towards the end of 2010.

"A steering group was formed, motivated in part by the ideology of the Big Society, and chose to focus on creating a climate for change that encourages local people in Cricklewood to take charge of and lead on the development of Cricklewood, making it a great place to live, work or visit.

Cricklewood straddles the junction of three London boroughs and more immediately three wards i.e. Mapesbury (Brent), Childs Hill (Barnet) and Fortune Green (Camden). Consequently it is a challenge to develop a coherent approach for Cricklewood as a neighbourhood or town and, as a result, the area requires attention to make it an attractive place for all.

"Cricklewood Town Team aims to create a formal organisation which plays a lead role in determining the future for Cricklewood in conjunction with relevant bodies such as resident associations, community groups, local businesses, faith groups, community safety agencies, statutory partners such as Barnet, Brent and Camden councils, as well as the Community and Voluntary sectors."

Chapman Taylor: Hammerson's dreadful living bridge at Brent Cross (videoing from the real one)


Ah, breathe in the NO2 from the
10-lane North Circular Road underneath!
And note the fully-segregated cycle lanes here!
What a wonderful design, eh?
Link to Chapman Taylor.
And be impressed.

"This project will create a new town centre for the regeneration of Cricklewood, and is centred on the existing Brent Cross shopping centre, which was the first out-of-town [that is, car-based] retail scheme in the UK, constructed in the 1970s. The scheme is comprised of retail, including two new department stores, a new restaurant and leisure quarter, residential, hotels, offices plus new car parks. These will be set around new streets, landscaping and a natural corridor for the River Brent [rigidly following the northern edge of the North Circular Road!].

The new town centre will be linked to a proposed market square which lies at the heart of the Cricklewood regeneration area via a landscaped civic space, called the living bridge, across the North Circular Road.

[Actually, the 'living bridge' is likely to be further east.]




[Reposted] "Crossrail and HS2 superhub will bring £6bn boost to north-west London" (and maybe London Overground trains to Hendon Thameslink and an RAF Museum station)


Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson is to set up an Olympic-style regeneration agency to transform a rundown area into a thriving new district and deliver a £6 billion economic boost to London.

"The Mayor wants to use Crossrail links and the planned HS2 route — which will converge at Old Oak Common — to spur the creation of 80,000 homes and 20,000 jobs.

"By 2025 a 'mini-Manhattan' of skyscrapers and apartments will shoot up around the station in north-west London. The Mayoral Development Corporation in Old Oak Common, known as MDC, will have the same powers that are being used to create a Games legacy in Stratford. It will begin planning work next year at the semi-industrial 195-acre site north of Wormwood Scrubs and Westway. The establishment of an MDC is subject to London Assembly approval." [and the three boroughs involved?]



(Click for YouTube video!)

"Old Oak confirmed as HS2 hub"

Wednesday November 27, 2013

"A Government bill paving the way for a £50billion high speed rail line (HS2) to be built confirms Old Oak Common, just north of Wormwood Scrubs, as a principal hub station it was revealed this week.

"The high speed hub will connect the HS2 line to Crossrail and the Great Western Main line and provide opportunities for substantial regeneration of the nearby area, according to the council.

"Vast tracts of semi-derelict industrial land, in the north of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F), could be transformed with up to 19,000 new homes and 90,000 jobs thanks to the major improvement in accessibility that HS2 will bring.

"Supporters of the rapid rail link between London and the north hope to see a new high-speed line running from the capital to Birmingham by 2026. Preliminary contracts worth £60million can now be handed out, although further legal hurdles remain before the actual railway can go ahead. Auditors KPMG say the line would boost the UK economy by £15billion a year.

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation’s prosperity.”
"A second phase, taking the line to north west and north east England, is due for completion by 2033. The cost of the project is now put at £42.6billion with a further £7.5billion for the trains.

"HS2 is set to make Old Oak Common Britain’s best connected railway station as it acts as the main interchange between HS2 and Crossrail. The Government has signalled Old Oak’s vital role in taking pressure off busy central London terminals like Euston, the London terminus of HS2, which could not have coped with the 13,000 extra passengers an hour that HS2 will bring. A new generation of trains, running at speeds of up to 225mph will stop at the new Old Oak hub station.

"Five of the nation’s airports will be linked to the high-speed rail network for the first time through the Old Oak interchange. Central London and Heathrow will be just 10 minutes away, Birmingham will be 40 minutes direct from Old Oak and Luton, Gatwick and City Airport will all be within 45 minutes. In addition, if the Government decide to move Heathrow to a new hub to the east of London, there will be a direct connection from Old Oak via the HS1 link in less than 30 minutes.

"Around half of working age adults within 1.2miles of the station are unemployed. Some parts of the area - which includes a large amount of railway land with train depots, two waste recycling facilities, the Car Giant dealership and other light industrial uses - are in the bottom 1% most deprived nationally.

"Given the regeneration potential HS2 provides, the Government, Mayor of London, TfL and London Boroughs of H&F, Brent and Ealing have developed a 30-year vision to transform the Old Oak area. The Vision spells out how up to 90,000 jobs and 19,000 new homes - in addition to new schools, open spaces, shops and leisure facilities - could transform the area. View the vision at www.london.gov.uk/oldoak

"Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, says:
"HS2 has the potential to act as a catalyst to create much-needed new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London's poorest areas. We have heard a lot about how HS2 will bridge the north-south divide and regenerate parts of northern England and the Midlands, but it has also the potential to transform rundown inner London neighbourhoods right on our doorstep.

We will continue engaging with HS2 and the Government over the coming months, to ensure that the HS2 proposals deliver the optimal benefits for the borough’s residents.”
(Independent web site)
"There is potential to improve the local road network and provide bus and cycle lanes, linking existing and new stations to the wider area. There is also potential to improve local connections with new bus services to a new bus interchange at the proposed HS2 and Crossrail station, and discussions are on-going with the Government about ways in which the London Overground rail network could be connected to the Old Oak Common station.

"Mr McLoughlin continued:
“The number of passengers on our railways has doubled since 1995, while rail freight traffic has risen by 65 per cent over the same period. The existing rail network is operating at near full capacity, and neither new motorways nor domestic air travel are environmentally sustainable options to meet the mobility requirements of a British population expected to grow by 10 million by 2033.”
For more, visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/hs2

2014-08-28

Barnet Times: "Panel to determine Mayor of Barnet's fate"


Link to web site

"Councillors will decide whether the Mayor of Barnet breached the code of conduct when failing to declare his interests in housing at committee meetings.

"The group leaders panel is set to consider Hale Councillor Hugh Rayner's fate at the group leader’s panel next Wednesday.

"However, although a motion to exclude the press and public from the meeting has been put forward, the panel will hear representations from people arguing against this."

Cricklewood and Thameslink: "Build it and they will come"


Link to PDF file



2014-08-27

The Guardian: "The Cheesegrater – a tower of no small ambition"


Link to web site

"Someone has told the bouncers to be nice. It is now standard for architectural anoraks like myself to find ourselves challenged by smile-less security as we go about our blameless business – no loitering, no photography, no looking, as if al-Qaida scouts would do their dastardly work in this way or as if, years after the invention of the camera phone, photography can be controlled as it could in the age of the tripod. But not at the base of the Cheesegrater. Here, you can ride the escalators, take snaps and engage the wardrobe-shouldered gentlemen in conversations about architecture.
"Which is just as well, as much of the Cheesegrater's claim to be special, to be more than just another commercial tower, rests on the zone beneath its overhanging mass, described as a 'public space'. Accuracy requires it to be pointed out that it is not in fact public space, being controlled by the developers British Land and Oxford Properties, but privately owned, publicly accessible space, which might now be called Popas for short. Still, it is something most skyscrapers don't offer, and a few arsey guards would wreck the positivity generated by this gift of valuable cubic metres and its expensive landscaping.
"... You certainly know that this is Popas, not public space. The switch in paving on the boundary line tells you so, as do the interesting species of tree, the ultra-green of the grass and the patrolling (friendly) security. But Popas, as long as you are clear in your terms, does not have to be a bad thing. The Cheesegrater's version avoids the common Popas habit of being a shopping mall in disguise [where COULD he have been thinking of?] – the signs are up announcing opportunities for buying macaroons and smoothies, all pastel against the grey steel, but they don't dominate."


Wembley Matters: "Cricklewood says 'Oh, no, not that lot again!' but ready to stand united against the SE Alliance"


Link to web site

Municipal Dreams (Hammerson's out-of-town car-based Brent Cross plan incorporates all the latest thinking)


Link to
'The County of London Plan, 1943:
"If only we will" '

"The County of London Plan was commissioned by the London County Council, written by JH Forshaw (Chief Architect to the LCC) and Patrick Abercrombie (the most famous town planner of his day and Professor of Town Planning at University College, London) and published in 1943.

"It was a bold and comprehensive reimagining of the capital and, though most of its specific proposals were quickly forgotten in the austerity and necessary pragmatism of the post-war years, we should recall its ideals and vision – and perhaps learn from them too.

"... To modern eyes, there is something bitter-sweet in all this – in the irony that it is war that can unleash our most creative and idealistic ambitions for a better world; in the fact that war itself provided both the means – the power of the state and the collective will of the people – and the opportunity to rebuild." [Instead of which, we now have the corrupt Brent Cross planning application. Oh, well.]

2014-08-23

Barnet and Hammerson's plan for the North Circular Road


Brent Cross:
"Faceless estates. Sprawling suburbs. Soulless financial districts.
Discredited elsewhere as fostering the worst kind of urban angst"

Actually, it's The Guardian:
"Why haven't China's cities learned from America's mistakes?" [Link above.]

"Faceless estates. Sprawling suburbs. Soulless financial districts. Discredited elsewhere as fostering the worst kind of urban angst: these are the vogue in China – but change could be afoot

"In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls 'festering urban sores'.

"But China [or rather Barnet and Hammerson!] looked back instead of forward. Over the past decade and a half, the nation’s developers and government officials have replicated discredited urban planning templates, importing ideas that were tested, failed and long since abandoned in places like Europe and the US. Planning authorities have committed 'essentially all the mistakes that have been made in the western world before', says Yan Song, director of the programme on Chinese cities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"She recalls how 10 years ago, a delegation of planners from the US convened with Chinese officials, who were then working on eliminating Beijing’s cycle lanes to make room for more cars. 'The American planners were saying, "Don’t do that, please! We’ve done that, we have made that mistake. Don’t follow us,"' says Song. 'But at the time, when you have that kind of modernisation, people love cars – so unfortunately the planners there didn’t listen.' (A few years later, Beijing backpedalled, and since 2010 it has been working to bring back the bicycles.)" [Pity Barnet and Hammerson didn't listen, either!]

2014-08-22

The Independent: "Big wheel rolls into the home of Motown"


"They forgot the motor city in the years of American urban renewal, but now JP Morgan is writing a $100m cheque to kickstart Detroit. Some doubt the bank’s motives"

Link to web site

"There are all sorts of theories in Detroit for why the Wall Street banking giant JP Morgan Chase is spending $100m (£60m) to help fix parts of this city. It’s charity; it’s a secret deal with the Justice Department; it’s guilt over all the Detroiters the bank foreclosed on during the crisis; it’s a plot to privatise municipal infrastructure.

"... The [biggest] risk to the bank would be the total collapse of Detroit’s economy: the bank, which has roots in the city going back 80 years, employs 3,600 people in Michigan across 300 branches. Last year, it was the largest consumer mortgage lender in the state.

Mr Seybert says:
"The broader test is whether a big enough injection of private money can move markets to deliver positive change.

Bank capital is shareholder capital. We're not a foundation here. I feel very strongly about this. Community development needs to be sustainable, and we expect a return on our investment."

2014-08-21

Daily Telegraph: "We're stuck in the 'Yes-But' economy, where interest rate rises are forever delayed"


"For every indication that the economy is on the mend, there is another that suggests things could unravel very quickly"

Link to web site

"Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the 'Yes-But' economy. It is, as you are doubtless becoming aware, a strange, febrile place – one that is forever teetering on the brink of an inflection point without ever quite tipping over. There’s plenty of good news but it comes couched in significant caveats; likewise, most of the gloom is cancelled out by equal and opposite cheer. Is the glass half full or half empty? Well, that depends on your point of view, and which statistics you choose to back it up.

It is, in other words, an environment replete with excuses for inaction, especially if you are one of the world’s central bankers currently gathering for their annual jamboree at Jackson Hole this week. (What, incidentally, is the collective noun for central bankers? An 'indecision', perhaps?)

"... Ambiguous economic signals provide reasons not to raise interest rates. But they are also the consequence of the decision not to raise interest rates. The fragility of the 'Yes-But' economy is both maintained and sustained by the unwillingness of central banks to end the biggest monetary experiment in history."

[Reposted] Evening Standard: Hammerson's Brent Cross: "A lot of imagination in the layout" (Then, not now.)


"It is a wonderful asset to be able to park your car and do all your shopping under one roof, without worrying about traffic wardens or getting wet," says Mrs Renee Stitcher, a magistrate's wife.

We took her around the centre to see for herself what was going on, and to get her views about the shopping centre.

"It is a wonderful centre - a lot of imagination has gone into the layout, and I am enjoying walking around the shops, and also having the chance of a sit down and something to eat and drink," she said.

Sometimes she uses Golders Green for her shopping, but says parking is a real problem. "The council has not provided any parking. Either you park a long way away and walk, or else go elsewhere.

"I have been going to the West End, because I can get a car park and a choice of goods.

"The chance of doing all my shopping in one go will be just what many housewives want - and they needn't get wet in the process.

"I like the design and layout of the centre, but my husband is going to be furious because it will encourage me to shop more often!

"High on my priority list with this centre is its convenience. You can come by car and park all around it, and get into the shops on two completely different levels.

"The big West End stores have come out to where we live, and it looks as though there will be plenty of choice.

"I like the big islands of carpeting in the Fenwicks store. The aim of this, I am told, is to help identify each department - the whole store ... looks very bright and cheerful.

"In these days of economic depression and general problems, everyone needs a lift - and this store provides it. I think the Fenwicks store is nicer than many similar styles I have seen in America.

Her one big worry was that the centre was big and overpowering. "It might take a long time before people get used to it."

6 Jan 1976


Barnet Times: Cricklewood, Brent Cross and Hendon Football Club





2014-08-20

Evening Standard: "London gets first roundabout to segregate cyclists and motorists"


Link to web site

"A breakthrough in cycle safety was unveiled today, as work began to create the first fully segregated roundabout in London.

"Cyclists and vehicles will be kept apart by using raised kerbs and separate traffic lights on the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea.

"The interchange is not notorious for collisions, but Wandsworth council decided to make the improvements to prioritise cycling and walking as the Nine Elms area is redeveloped."


2014-08-19

Hammerson's development manager Russell Beresford "disappointed" with Swansea's plan (Barnet engineered the Brent Cross corrupt plan, so no disappointment HERE)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-28839940
Link to BBC web site

"Developers Hammerson have been given permission for a £10m revamp of Swansea's [semi-out-of-town - we know the feeling!] Parc Tawe retail outlet, but said a restriction blocking it for 12 years from approaching well-known stores is not acceptable.

"Swansea council claims the restriction is to protect its plans for the city centre.

"... Hammerson's development manager Russell Beresford, said:
"It's a strange day when a leader of a council desperate for investment chooses to unfairly [unfairly?? bless!] criticise a major [useless] landowner and potential investor in the city [so crawl before us, you pond-life scum] and we very much hope his approach doesn't put off anyone considering investing in the city [in our race to the bottom].

... We are therefore considering our options."
"Swansea has struggled to find a way of successfully regenerating the centre following the collapse of the long-time proposed Castle Quays development in 2004 which suffered several false starts, including with Hammerson."

2014-08-18

Evening Standard: "Charities could be left homeless as Barnet office block is turned into flats"


Link to web site

"Charities fear they will be left homeless after being evicted from a London tower block.

"Many of the current tenants — more than 100 small businesses and charities — have been given as little as four to six weeks' notice to leave, it is claimed. Developers plan to turn the 14-storey Premier House in Barnet into 112 'reasonably priced' flats.

"Andrea Bilbow is chief executive of Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (Addiss) which is based in the building. It runs a helpline used by around 5,000 people a year. She said:
"The shocking news that we have to move with just six weeks’ notice arrived at the start of summer holidays."

2014-08-17

The Guardian: "Britain's productivity puzzle: when will it return to pre-slump levels?"


"Recession saw productivity collapse as more people have been employed to produce the same level of output"

Link to web site

"... Since 2008, productivity has collapsed as more people have been employed to produce the same level of output. Output per worker is currently 17% below where it would have been had the pre-recession trend continued, which explains why this has been a lost decade for living standards.

"That, though, is history. The real issue is when will productivity return to its old pre-slump trend? If ever. That, in turn, is related to the reason productivity has been so weak in the first place, a theme explored by the Bank of England in last week's inflation report.

"...Some of these structural changes in the economy predate the recession, so unless skills have atrophied or we have become thicker as a nation, there is good reason to imagine that productivity will eventually pick up."


The Independent:
"Black cloud hanging over Britain’s
impressive economic recovery?
Weak productivity"


Link to web site

The Guardian:
"How peaches and propaganda are helping to shape the new world order"

"Many chroniclers of the 1930s say the decade only really took on its doomed, chaotic character when major countries left the gold standard (Britain first in 1931, Italy last five years later). Today, a breakup of the world system would take a different form: the competitive devaluation of currencies in which large amounts of debt are held by other countries, or the closure of financial markets to certain countries. We are still far from this – but not unimaginably far.

"After the release of this week's GDP figures, the debt dynamics of Europe – above all Italy – once again look ominous. Italy has the eurozone's biggest debts and is the biggest loser from the arrangement whereby Germany profits from everyone else's inefficiency. Without recovery, not only do its debts look unsustainable; it also becomes yet another candidate for imposed austerity and technocratic government.

It is possible that, at some point, there will be a replay of summer 2011, in which a bond market crisis has to be averted by concerted global action, but this time with Italy rather than Greece and Spain needing the bailout. Such action will be all the harder in a world where trade and financial markets have become weapons of diplomatic war, in which anti-globalist parties of the right and left have significantly more support, and where the global order looks much more worn and frayed."

Jonathan Joseph's Brent Cross and Russell Beresford's Parc Tawe: Councillors say Hammerson cares "Sod All"


Link to South Wales Evening Post

"THE redevelopment of Swansea's Parc Tawe has been given the go-ahead by councillors — despite a warning from the firm behind the project that some of the conditions being imposed on it are unacceptable.

"Russell Beresford, from developers Hammerson, said it had an interest in making sure the city centre did well [ha!], and was prepared to accept other planning conditions but not condition four, adding that a revamped Parc Tawe would support some 300 full time equivalent jobs.

But councillors decided to keep the contested condition in the planning approval — and had some harsh words for Hammerson.

Ward member David Phillips sarcastically congratulated Hammerson on 'getting off their backsides' and finding possible tenants for a revamped Parc Tawe but accused them of doing 'sod all' for the city centre when they were responsible for it as agents."

Progressing the Corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood Planning Application (via the dead hand of the London Communications Agency)



2014-08-14

Elephant & Castle Regeneration: Lend Lease Director Dan Labbad shows us his hands







The Guardian:
"Elephant and Castle and beyond:
what is the right way to regenerate in London?"



The Guardian:
"Elephant and Castle regeneration:
what are the rights and wrongs?"



"How the Heygate estate at Elephant & Castle
was sold to Lend Lease for a song"
Link to 'Private Eye' (lengthy PDF)

Er, that's all.

BikeHub: "Building more roads will not cure congestion, says Sustrans"


Scoot to web site

"New government statistics reveal that motor vehicle traffic has risen by 1.4 percent to 77.1bn vehicle miles.The data was released within the Department for Transport’s Quarterly Road Traffic Estimates. Another report – Congestion on local A roads – reveals that average speed on local A roads has dropped to 24.4mph, down 0.9 percent on this time last year.

Allan Williams, Policy Advisor for Sustrans said:
“Traffic is a major headache for everyone but we can't build our way out of road congestion. According to the Government’s own analysis there’s little evidence of wider economic, social or environmental benefits either.

The key to unlock road traffic congestion is to give people a choice about how they travel by providing safe, convenient and affordable alternatives to driving."

2014-08-10

Barnet Times: " 'A town where only the rich can live' - concern over lack of social housing in Barnet"


Link to web site

"Overcrowding in Barnet demands a more 'ambitious' housing programme - despite the approval of 27 new homes, according to a councillor.

"Social housing landlord Barnet Homes is set to build new flats and houses on disused sites in Tarling Road, Haldane Close, Brent Place and Bedford Road.

"It forms part of a wider scheme to build 28,000 new homes by 2025, of which 40 per cent will be designated 'affordable'."

London Tenants Newsletter, July 2014: "Report from West Hendon Residents Association, Barnet"


Link to web site
(PDF; page 2)

"For nearly 15 years our residents’ association has challenged and campaigned against the so-called regeneration plans for our estate, at both the local and London-wide level.

"Demolition of 680 council homes, including 23 freehold homes, and construction of 2,149 new homes is planned. More than two-thirds (1,500) are to be luxury homes in blocks of up to 29 storeys high.

"We have raised social and environmental concerns and have consistently argued that the only beneficiaries of this ‘regeneration’ are wealthy incomers, at the expense of existing residents.

"The key attractions of our estate for the new, wealthy penthouse dwellers that the council wants to bring in are:
  • the estate is situated just 5-10 minutes from Hendon train station and then only 15 minutes to St Pancras, and
  • the estate is adjacent to the Welsh Harp, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a valuable wildlife habitat for breeding water birds and rare birds (250 different types), butterflies, bats, dragonflies, newts and more."

Citymetric: "What would London's new orbital rail link look like?"


Link to web site
-a vote of confidence in Hammerson's Brent Cross, then. Not.


"The mayor's office [has just] released its £1.3trn - yes, trillion - London Infrastructure 2050 plan. The document contains all sorts of goodies for the sort of people who get all excited by the prospect of new transport infrastructure (i.e. us), so we'll no doubt be writing about it rather a lot.

"Perhaps the most striking proposal it contains, however, is the one for a new orbital rail link, which would connect a string of existing lines to the Overground Network and which, according to the Guardian, is referred to by officials as the 'R25', after London's orbital motorway."

Link to 'London 2050'

20 August: Brent Planning Committee considers ERUV


Link to Brent Planning web site
(ref: 14/1252)

"Installation of 0.5mm clear nylon wire spans between poles in 14 locations within the London Borough of Brent (and additional ones in adjacent boroughs) to complete a notional 'enclosure' (as defined in Jewish law) so as to ease Sabbath observance for non-ambulant persons and their carers" 

Link to two Westminster documents
(ref: 14/06739/OBS)


Link to Ham & High:
"Jewish Eruv plans would see poles and fishing wire
erected in West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage"


www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/row_erupts_over_bid_for_st_john_s_wood_and_maida_vale_eruv_1_1367985#
Link to Wood & Vale (2012):
"Peter Leaver, St John’s Wood Society chairman, says
he resents being labelled as xenophobic for opposing the eruv:
'I do not see why anyone who is against the eruv should be
stigmatised as a xenophobe or anti-semitic or both,'
said the West London Synagogue member"

2014-08-09

London Live: "Campaigners' last-ditch attempts to save Earl's Court"


Link to web site

"Alex Beard reports from Earls Court, where planning permission has been given to demolish the exhibition centres and existing estates to build 7,500 homes on the 77 acre site."

Brent Cyclists: "Brent Cross cycling provision"


Pedal to web site

"... This 'living bridge' will allow cyclists to cross the North Circular, which sounds good. However, there will be no quality cycle access to it from the south or south-west, so far as we can see. The only access from the west side of Barnet, and Brent, will be via Claremont Road, an unpleasant rat-run which is sure to be made much worse by traffic generated by the housing developments planned, or via another new bridge, across the Midland Main Line, connecting to the A5 Edgware Road, a hostile main road which has absolutely no cycling facilities.

"Why, in a brand new development, where most of the infrastructure is being rebuilt, are the developers planning shared cycle and pedestrian routes? This is planning for failure in terms of attracting significant volumes of cyclists. They should be planning separation.

"Perhaps most seriously, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the flaw with this plan for a riverside path along the Brent is that it goes nowhere at the west end. Brent Park Road merely meets the concrete wall of the A5 flyover across Stapes Corner West. There will be no way for cyclists to escape at that end, as they can't go north up the A5 without cycling illegally on the pavement, and they won't be able to go south, as they will be swept back into a new traffic system at the junction into the North Circular [shown above]. There are no other roads going south.

There is one going north, Dallas Road, but that creates no practical routes towards Brent because of the banned turn at the junction of Park Road with the A5."