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


Hammerson and Brent Cross: Top-down planning: arrogant, unsustainable, and led by clowns. (Other than that,...)

"Through the developments we have carried out in recent years, we have an excellent reputation with local authorities and city councils. [That's not what Barnet thinks of you, you know.]

"We also enjoy strong relationships with retailers. By aligning ourselves with the public sector, with anchor retailers like John Lewis and with major direct property investors, we have become the 'partner of choice' for the regeneration of many of the UK's towns and cities.

"Our development strategy is focused on the top 30 retail destinations which capture the key regional and sub regional cities, where we believe future comparison retail spend will be concentrated.

"We are seeking to establish dominant positions in our target cities where we can create the prime retail offer, but also control and manage the public realm and the whole customer experience. This is about creating a 'managed estate' environment.

"In addition, through our retail parks team, we are establishing ourselves in the next tier of towns as we begin to bring forward a new generation of hybrid schemes, emphasising 'convenience'.

"We are creating assets which are scarce commodities and sustainable long-term investments with good growth potential."

"Brent Cross is an example of the success of our long-term investment approach to our major retail assets. It is owned jointly with Standard Life.

"We developed Brent Cross in 1976 and, at that time, it was the first of its kind in Europe. Over the last thirty years, it has shown consistently high returns, achieving some of the highest rents in the UK.

"It has a proven reputation as a launch platform for international retailers seeking entry into the UK and Europe. It is anchored by the UK's highest profile retailers with John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Fenwick. Since 2002, we have also enhanced the tenant mix to better reflect the upmarket catchment profile. ..."

"It is positioned at the heart of one of the wealthiest catchments in the UK, with very good accessibility, certainly by London standards.

"The centre takes almost half the comparison spend in its catchment, and dominates the five wealthiest MOSAIC groups.

"The high average spend per visit and the high sales per square foot seen by the retailers support high average rents of £1,020 per m² and leaves room for further growth."

"With its unique market positioning and strategic location, the opportunity to expand and evolve Brent Cross is obvious. ... The centre is positioned at the junction of the M1 motorway and London’s inner orbital route, the North Circular.

"We have progressively acquired the land between the existing centre and the North Circular over the last decade.

"In 2002, we purchased a portfolio of property and development opportunities from the rail infrastructure provider, Railtrack. This opened the door to controlling the redevelopment of over 100 hectares of partially derelict and under-utilised land to the south of the North Circular. The development rights are currently held in partnership with Multiplex.

"Then, in 2004 we purchased the Brent South Retail Park, also in conjunction with Standard Life, which previously sat outside the redevelopment land. This is a key asset in its own right and complementary to Brent Cross.

"Taken in the round, we have both direct ownership and key strategic interests in the whole of the Brent Cross and Cricklewood redevelopment area."

"The masterplan for the whole of the regeneration area envisages the creation of a new town centre, with Brent Cross as its cornerstone.

"Brent Cross itself will double in terms of its overall offer, including a significant new leisure and restaurant quarter and residential apartments.

"Across the whole of the site, there will be some 7,000 residential units developed out over a 15 – 20 year period. This will include major new public spaces and amenities and significant investment in transport and infrastructure.

"Further down the line, the masterplan envisages a commercial phase of some 400,000 m² of offices centred around a new main-line railway station. The masterplan will be delivered in phases, progressively bringing forward infrastructure alongside commercial development.

"As for Brent Cross itself, this is an opportunity to reposition the asset for the next thirty years.

"We plan to add a further 55,000 m² of comparison retail; an external retail and leisure environment, building on the concept which has proven so successful at The Oracle in Reading; optimising accessibility and car parking to achieve a total of 7,600 parking spaces; and around 850 residential units as part of the mixed-use environment.

"All contributing to turning the exisiting [sic] centre 'inside out' and creating a customer 'experience' which is not just about shopping, but also a leisure and lifestyle destination.

"... The Cricklewood proposals to the south of the North Circular are a joint venture with Multiplex. This is a longer term-project and it is envisaged that this will be brought forward in partnership with specialist developers for each phase.

"In taking these proposals forward, significant progress has been made in advancing planning policy support. We are continuing to work through the planning process with the objective of submitting an outline Planning Application for the combined scheme next year, which could enable us to be on site with the early phases from 2010. [Giggle, giggle.]

"The combined scheme represents one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe and offers enormous potential to bring forward phased development in a managed environment, and to underpin the future performance of an outstanding asset."

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