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


Financial Times: "Why finance is too much of a good thing"

"Is it possible to have too much finance? Harmed by the aftermath of financial crises, enraged by bailouts of financial institutions, irritated by the generous remuneration, aghast at repeated malfeasance and infuriated by the impunity of those responsible, most ordinary people would find it all too easy to answer: yes."

Link to web site (paywall)

"... An organised society offers two ways of becoming rich. The normal way has been to exercise monopoly power. Historically, monopoly control over land, usually seized by force, has been the main route to wealth. A competitive market economy offers a socially more desirable alternative: invention and production of goods and services.

"Alas, it is also possible to extract rents in markets. The financial sector with its complexity and implicit subsidies is in an excellent position to do so. But such practices do not only shift money from a large number of poorer people to a smaller number of richer ones. It may also gravely damage the economy.

"This is the argument of Luigi Zingales of Chicago Booth School, a strong believer in free markets, in his presidential address to the American Finance Association. The harms take two forms. The first is direct damage: an unsustainable credit-fuelled boom, say. Another is indirect damage that results from a breakdown in trust in a financial arrangements, due to crises, pervasive 'duping', or both.

[Reposted from 2011] Localis

"Localis commitment to decentralisation crosses party boundaries"
Prof George Jones, LSE

"Localis is now firmly in the think tank Premiership"
Paul Carter Leader, Kent CC

"I would recommend any organisation with an interest in localism to join Localis"
Emma Cariaga, Development Director, Land Securities

"Localis consistently offers fresh insight for councils to maximise the opportunities given to them"
Richard Kemp, Liverpool CC

"Localis has an excellent reputation for pushing the boundaries of localism"
Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin MP, Minister for Policy

"Localis are out in front, pioneering the policies that will change our nation for the better"
Rt. Hon. Greg Clark MP, Minister, DCLG

"Localis is a driving force for change within the localist agenda"
Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State, DCLG

"Regeneration in a time of Austerity"
Discussion note from Localis workshops with Cheshire West & Chester Council on 24 March 2011, and the Barnet London Borough Council on 11 November 2011
"The Government’s simultaneous public spending cuts and emphasis on local autonomy, particularly with regards to financial capabilities, have created a new paradigm for regeneration. There has been a significant level of policy change since the last election, including wholesale reform of the planning system and upcoming changes to local government finance, putting the emphasis firmly on growth."
"... Despite some deprivation in the south of the Borough, Barnet is relatively affluent, with positive growth prospects. The Borough plans to build 7,000 new homes by 2016, and is currently refreshing current growth agenda documents to further specify their developmental framework.

"One of the on-going regeneration projects is the Brent Cross shopping centre, which it is projected to start in 2012. The development will provide approximately 20,000 new jobs, as well as several thousand new homes.

"Aiming to stimulate more transit-oriented development, there will be a new northern line station at Brent Cross. This will also hopefully reduce the amount of car use in the Borough, an important factor in successful regeneration efforts, as low car use levels have the ability to foster foot traffic and vibrant city centres. It will also help to solve the lack of available parking within the shopping centre.

"The A5 corridor is another possible location for transit-oriented development as proximity to the motorway provides the potential for increased access to once remote areas."
... ...
"... In Barnet, the panel highlighted the opportunity of converting publicly owned assets into capital funding.

"In a recent report on financing infrastructure, Localis has argued that mechanisms such as local asset backed vehicles (LABVs) are a feasible mechanism for sharing risk and reward with the private sector, and incentivising investment."
"... In Barnet, the panel commented that whilst the recent abolition of RSSs (Regional Spatial Strategies) allows greater freedom when planning regeneration projects, the assessment stages that have replaced the RSSs are still restrictive.

"The panel in Barnet also noted that whilst allowing TIF (Tax Increment Funding) for local regeneration from April 2012 is a positive step, tight Treasury controls such as caps on borrowing and final Treasury sign-offs could make attaining adequate funding difficult."
"...In Barnet, the panel noted that whilst the recent abolition of RSSs allows greater flexibility when planning regeneration, care must be taken to avoid causing tension in communities. regarding neighbourhood and housing planning, which would put a strain on growth."


Tue 9 - Sun 14 June: Reclaim London: 'Ubiquitous Unique'

"London is being stolen from us. Public spaces are privatised, green spaces built on, our heritage trashed. Luxury apartments are stacked high and left vacant while housing is now unaffordable for most Londoners. Council estates are being demolished, displacing people and breaking up communities. Local identity is being lost.

"For the fortunate few, London is booming. Warped by financial interests, the planning system guarantees property developers huge profits but fails to deliver the buildings and services we need. Too many of our elected representatives surrender to developers rather than defend their electorate. Behind closed doors they collude in the sale of our land, the destruction of our communities and the ruin of our cultural heritage.

"This can't go on.

"People all over London are doing battle with planners, politicians and developers to defend their neighbourhoods. It is time for us to stand together and demand change – to Reclaim London from the private and powerful interests wrecking our city.

"London's future depends on the wellbeing of all, not just the few. We want to live in a civilised city where people and communities come first. We demand a fair, open, accountable and genuinely democratic planning process – a process that protects the things we love and puts public need before private greed."

Ubiquitous Unique
09 June - 14 June
Free entry: Open 10am - 6pm
Organised by: Reclaim London
Red Gallery
1-3 Rivington Street
The installation Ubiquitous Unique will feature computer-rendered elevations from one hundred recent planning applications across London which, seen collectively, will challenge claims for the uniqueness of these schemes.

"It will question the extent to which this development model is solving London's growing problems. Are 'new landmarks', 'iconic structures', 'stunning views', 'exclusive apartments', and 'award-winning architects' benign elements or are they part of the housing crisis, the privatisation of public space, the loss of built heritage and the fragmentation of communities?

"The installation will be curated by Reclaim London, a recently-formed group voicing Londoners’ collective concern about the city's growth and seeking accountability and fairness in the planning process. Reclaim London will use the exhibition as a hub for discussion and ideas for change, such as how architects could benefit from a fairer balance of power between developers, the authorities and the public."
Part of the London Festival of Architecture running throughout the month of June. Website HERE.


Brent Cross Shopping Centre: "Pastel Shades: Weekend Wonders"

"The sweetest thing - your guide to the latest pastel shades at Brent Cross.

"This is the perfect time of year to indulge your sartorial sweet tooth. How? By introducing a pinch of pastels to your wardrobe. Pastel pieces have a number of dress-down possibilities.

Try toughening your look with New Look's vanilla ripped jeans, scuffed shoes or trainers and a denim jacket - so 90s!

"Another big tick next to pastels: they make a perfect accompaniment to those neutral basics you already have; peachy pumps transform favourite blue jeans and a structured powder blue satchel from New Look makes a striped sailor top feel fresh all over again. Now, that doesn't sound too tricky does it? [No, indeed it doesn't!]

"PLUS equals more inspiration. Want more stories like this – and exclusive offers? Download the new Brent Cross PLUS app today."

"Brent Cross Plus"

"Plus equals more.

"Our free PLUS app for Brent Cross brings you exclusive offers, centre news and more.

"Personalise your interests and make your shopping experience easier, fun and more rewarding."

"Static Warden"

Location: Brent Cross, North London
Salary: £230 per week, plus OT and beneifts [sic]
Hours: 35hrs per week (5 days out of 7)

UK Parking Control have more than 25 years` experience in the parking management business and are dedicated to providing clients with reliable and effective parking solutions. We take immense pride in being different and providing our clients with an experience that is professional in its approach, positive in its delivery and rewarding with its results.

Due to continued growth, we are now looking to recruit a permanent (full time) Static Parking Attendant to patrol a busy site in Brent Cross.

Previous experience is advantageous however you can expect to be fully trained to conduct your role and where applicable, provided with branded uniform and any relevant equipment.

Within your role, you will be required to carry out the following duties:
  • Issue Parking Charges to drivers of vehicles that contravene the regulations of the car park
  • Document all information accurately
  • Patrol car parks whilst adhering to Health and Safety policies
  • Conduct regular site reports for our clients.
 Ideal candidates will be able to demonstrate the following behaviours:
  • Provide excellent customer service when dealing with general enquiries
  • Remain calm, professional and polite when dealing with challenging face to face situations
  • Good technical experience with electronic devices such as Mobile Phones and PDA`s
  • Work under own initiative and be self-motivate [sic]
  • Happy to work outdoors and in all weather conditions. 
This is a full time, permanent position working 35 hours per week.

You will work 5 days out of 7 including regular if not fixed weekends, shifts will be between the hours of 6am and 10pm.

What`s in it for me? At UKPC we value the people that work for us, so as an employee you can expect to enjoy the following benefits:
  • Weekly Salary (Non-commission)
  • Holiday entitlement of 20 days + 8 Bank Holidays
  • Pension Scheme
  • KPI Scheme
  • Excellence Awards
  • Ongoing training.

Mr Mustard: "Free film - Monday 1 June 2015"


Conservativehome: "The height of stupidity – why London is the wrong place for skyscrapers"

Link to web site

"As you may have noticed, our low-rise capital is acquiring a growing collection of high-rise buildings.

"As Paul Murrain explains in a thought-provoking essay for Create Streets, this is not a good thing:
"There is nothing that better illustrates the race to the bottom in London's development than the two 50-storey residential glass towers at the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge.

What’s the rationale for that? Why 50 storeys? Where did that come from? Did some planner toss a coin? Perhaps I’m being unfair. If it was a result of careful wind, light and sun calculations to benefit the public space, I'm sure I will be told in no uncertain terms."


BBC: "The decline of the British front garden"

Link to web site

"The Royal Horticultural Society says British front gardens are disappearing. Why are people paving over their lawns?

"When people imagine a classic British front garden, they may first think of a small slice of well-tended grass. Perhaps with a box hedge.

"But over the past 10 years the number of front gardens with gravel or paving instead of grass has tripled, now making up a quarter of all houses, a survey for the RHS shows.

"There's an environmental cost. Paving increases the risk of flash flooding - instead of grass and soil soaking up moisture, it runs straight off paving and overwhelms drainage systems."


Evening Standard: "Conservatives lost four seats in capital because 'London is turning into Paris', Tory MP claims"

Link to web site

"The Conservatives lost four seats in London because the city is 'turning into Paris' with poorer people being pushed out from the gentrifying centre, a senior Tory MP warned today.

"Gavin Barwell, who won Croydon Central in a cliffhanger battle which gave him a majority of just 165, also raised concerns over the 'craziness' of the housing market, with property prices having spiralled out of the reach of many Londoners.

"He saw four colleagues beaten in the city, Nick de Bois in Enfield North, Lee Scott in Ilford North, Angie Bray in Ealing Central and Acton and Mary Macleod in Brentford and Isleworth."


Business Green: "Motoring costs society six times more than cycling, says study"

"Cost benefit analysis of cars versus bikes by Lund University shows significant benefits of pedal power"

Ride over to the web site

"New cycling infrastructure represents one of the most cost effective investments available for city-planners, according to a new study by Danish and Australian researchers.

"A new paper by Stefan Gössling from Lund University and Andy S. Choi from the University of Queensland, published in the journal Ecological Economics, calculated that it costs six times more for society and individuals to travel by car instead of bicycles.

"It is the first time academics have attempted to put a total cost on car use compared to cycling. The study considers a wide range of environmental and societal impacts of both modes of transport in Copenhagen, a city that is famous for its expansive cycle network."


Mon 11 May: Cricklewood Community Forum meeting - with Hammerson, Argent and LB of Barnet (ten years too late)

Planning Resource: "Election 2015: The Conservatives' key manifesto pledges on planning"

"Changes to the law to give local people the 'final say' on wind farm applications and support for brownfield development will be key policies for the incoming Conservative administration."

Link to web site

"Following last night’s shock election victory for the party it is now set to form the next government.

"... The manifesto ... said that a Conservative government would 'ensure local people have more control over planning and protect the green belt' and would 'support locally-led garden cities and towns in places where communities want them, such as Ebbsfleet and Bicester'.

"It added that 'when new homes are granted planning permission, we will make sure local communities know up-front that necessary infrastructure such as schools and roads will be provided'.

"The manifesto also pledged to protect the green belt. It said that brownfield land would be used 'as much as possible' and local authorities would be required to have 'a register of what is available' and ensure that '90 per cent of brownfield sites have planning permission for housing by 2020'.

"The manifesto also confirmed the creation of a new London Land Commission 'with a mandate to identify and release all surplus brownfield land owned by the public sector' and said that Housing Zones would create 95,000 new homes."

Election 2015: Results just in


Hammerson Positive Places (just not Brent Cross Shopping Centre, of course)

"Our CEO, David Atkins, and Head of Sustainability Louise Ellison, explain the ambitions for Positive Places, the responsbility [sic] that comes with increased development activity, and how Hammerson uses its unique position to increase awareness of sustainability among its key stakeholders."

Our Chief Executive's Vision
"As an ambitious property company we are prepared to push the boundaries around sustainability [though not regarding Barnet's estimate of 29,000 extra cars around Brent Cross shopping centre, of course]: this means not only aiming to set industry precedents with regards to those impacts that are tightly regulated, but also exploring our potential to drive change in other ways."
David Atkins

Link to the flannel

"Hammerson was one of the first major property developers to address sustainability considerations seriously and systematically. Our developments from 2003 onwards saw a series of innovations, ranging from local employment programmes to natural ventilation.

"With our development activity again increasing, we are focusing on designing and delivering buildings that will operate efficiently over the next 50 years or more. This means ensuring that environmental and social sustainability are designed into a scheme alongside economic sustainability, from the outset. [That rules out Brent Cross future plans then.] It also means reflecting on the many social, environmental and technological changes that will take place over that period.

"Quite a challenge when you think that when we originally developed Brent Cross shopping centre in 1976 it was the first out of town retail centre in the UK and we only had three television channels!"
Future route to
Brent Cross shopping centre

Meade Magazine: "Ariella Couture opens in Brent Cross Shopping Center" [sic]

"Earlier this week, we were invited to the opening of the new Ariella Couture store in Brent Cross shopping center [sic] in North London. Opposite Kurt Geiger store on the second floor of the shopping center [sic] Ariella Couture has found a new home to show and sell it's [sic] beautiful day and evening gowns. Color co-ordinated gowns, from creams and whites to blues, reds and blacks all have a either [sic] made out of the softest chiffon, lace, silk and embellished or draped creating the classic haute couture look.

"The Ariella label loved by many British and International celebrities has been on the British fashion market since 1966, and it established it's [sic] name as a leading fashion house for cocktail, evening and occasion wear, offering an exclusive and original styles [sic] for every women out there. With 11 outlets in London including two store on Oxford Circus, Duke Street and Carnaby Street. [sic]"

London Guided Busway

Link to web site

"The proposal is for a new busway using kerb guidance just like the busways in Cambridgeshire and connecting Luton and Dunstable to provide a fast and congestion-free route for buses and coaches from the M1 motorway and the North Circular Road near Staples Corner to Central London at Marylebone Station. You can download the route map from the downloads section on this page.

"The proposition is to use the land next to the railway between Marylebone Station and Finchley Road and alongside the Midland Main Line (MML) between West Hampstead and Brent Cross to construct a two-way kerb guided busway.

"There will be connections to the local road network at Marylebone to enable buses and coaches to continue their journeys to the West End and the City. One possible addition to the proposed scheme is the creation of a new coach terminal over the railway at or near Marylebone Station."

The Guardian: "How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world"

"In the 1960s, Dutch cities were increasingly in thrall to motorists, with the car seen as the transport of the future. It took the intolerable toll of child traffic deaths – and fierce activism – to turn Amsterdam into the cycling nirvana of today"

Link to web site

"Anyone who has ever tried to make their way through the centre of Amsterdam in a car knows it: the city is owned by cyclists. They hurry in swarms through the streets, unbothered by traffic rules, taking precedence whenever they want, rendering motorists powerless by their sheer numbers.

"Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport. It’s not only Amsterdam which boasts a network of cycle-paths, of course; you’ll find them in all Dutch cities.

"The Dutch take this for granted; they even tend to believe these cycle-paths have existed since the beginning of time. But that is certainly not the case. There was a time, in the 1950s and 60s, when cyclists were under severe threat of being expelled from Dutch cities by the growing number of cars. Only thanks to fierce activism and a number of decisive events would Amsterdam succeed in becoming what it is, unquestionably, now: the bicycle capital of the world."