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


Questions to the Mayor: Can Hapless Hammerson manage widening the North Circular Road?

Navin Shah (21-May-2015):
Do you share the worries expressed at the TFL Finance & Policy Committee meeting of 22 January 2015 in handing over the implementation of some Brent Cross Phase One major road changes to developers?

What is the risk involved, and what is the worst case scenario?
The Mayor (21-May-2015):
The TfL Finance & Policy Committee (F&PC) considered the risks and reinforced the need for strong controls by TfL in relation to the developer delivering the works. The principal risk is of traffic congestion (during construction or when the new development is fully populated) reducing highway performance and bus service reliability. Other risks include default or performance issues on behalf of the developer, and the impact of wider integration with other TfL programmes.

To mitigate these risks a strong and capable Project Sponsor team has been established within TfL, as endorsed by F&PC. As the detailed Design Work progresses, the team is ensuring that TfL's requirements are clear and deliverable and give assurance, guidance and support to the developer. In later phases the team will further assure the delivery by the Developer, minimise disruption to transport services, and manage interfaces with related projects.

TfL, the London Borough of Barnet and Highways England will confirm the requirements in detail and embed these in the Section 278 Highways Act Agreements that the developer will need to adhere to in order to work on the public highways. This and other legal powers will give TfL effective capabilities to ensure satisfactory delivery, including step-in powers in the worst case of developer default.

John Lewis store move will require massive capacity-increasing but unsustainable road schemes at Brent Cross

"The John Lewis Clearance is now on with hundreds of offers across three floors of fashion, beauty, homeware and electricals!

You'll find John Lewis on the Upper and Lower Malls.

Offer Ends [what offer?] On 31st July 2015.


The Guardian: "Revealed: how developers exploit flawed planning system to minimise affordable housing"

"The release of a ‘viability assessment’ for one of London’s most high-profile developments – seen exclusively by the Guardian – sheds new light on how developers are taking advantage of planning laws to ramp up their returns"

Link to web site

"... Seen exclusively by the Guardian, the document sheds new light on why so little affordable housing is being built across England; why planning policy consistently fails to be enforced; and why property developers are now enjoying profits that exceed even those of the pre-crash housing bubble.

"In the last decade, London has lost 8,000 social-rented homes. Under the Tory-led coalition, the amount of affordable housing delivered across the country fell by a third – from 53,000 homes completed in 2010 to 36,000 in 2014. Much of the reason lies hidden in these developers’ viability assessments and the dark arts of accounting, which have become all-powerful tools in the way our cities are being shaped.

"It is a phenomenon, in the view of housing expert Dr Bob Colenutt at the University of Northampton, that 'threatens the very foundations of the UK planning system'; a legalised practice of fiddling figures that represents 'a wholesale fraud on the public purse'. What was once a statutory system predicated on ensuring the best use of land has become, in Colenut's and many other experts' eyes, solely about safeguarding the profits of those who want to develop that land."


Capita think tank: Public sector solutions

With huge tranches of public sector land from both central and local government offering development opportunities, Property Week brought together some of the sector’s leading experts to discover how industry can work with officials to make the most of development and regeneration opportunities.

Capita Public Sector Think Tank

Stephen McDonald, director of place at Re (a joint venture company between London Borough of Barnet and Capita)
Paul Marsh, head of projects and finance at Regeneration and Investment Organisation (RIO), UK Trade & Investment
Gareth Blacker, head of transactions, Homes and Communities Agency
Paul Sargent, chief executive and co-founder, Queensberry Real Estate
Shane Dineen, director of property, health developments, Capita
Paul Clark, director, development consultancy and agency, real estate, Capita
David Parsley, contributing editor at Property Week, chair

Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald

David Parsley, Property Week: We’ve just had the news from Greg Clark, the new secretary of state for communities and local government, that all government departments have been instructed to release land for the construction of 150,000 new homes by 2020. Is this a step in the right direction and will it apply to local councils?

10 July - 2 Sep: "Watch the traffic on the North Circular drift past as you sip your drinks and play on our beach"

Link to web site

"The Beach Brent Cross will give you all the very best in 21st century entertainment whilst retaining the traditional seaside spirit. What do you want when you visit the coast? Great weather (no promises there!) but what else?

"... Open every day from 12 noon to 10pm, entry £3 and then you can buy tokens for rides at £1.20 each or ten for a tenner to use on the rides, plus you can purchase ice cream, hot dogs, soft and slightly harder drinks as well as teas and coffees for when it is a bit chilly!"

Broken Barnet: "Sacred Ground, and a Savage Beauty: a return to West Hendon"

(West Hendon shares the same
'Supplementary Planning Framework' as Brent Cross.)

Link to web site

"Mrs Angry has written a lot about the West Hendon 'regeneration', over the last year or so.

"... This development had been originally intended as a genuine act of regeneration, for the benefit of the residents of the council estate, but under the direction of the Tory council, here in Broken Barnet, has become something utterly different, a travesty of the idea of regeneration: a profit-driven luxury development on public land given away, in secret, to the developers for the token sum of £3.

"And those residents duped into agreeing the regeneration on the basis of being given new homes, and a better quality of life? They are being driven out of West Hendon: in some cases out of the borough."


Chicago's New Elevated Bikeway (not the Hammerson/London Communications Agency 'Living Hell bridge' at Brent Cross, then)

"Following in the footsteps of the High Line in New York City, Chicago opened a 2.7-mile elevated park, which has already been extremely popular in its first week. Here we round up the initial reactions to The 606, as the new park is called.

" 'Chicago's long-awaited bikeway and elevated park, The 606, opened last weekend (on 6/6, no less) to a rush of pedestrians and cyclists who were eager to test out the new 2.7-mile trail after years of planning, design and construction,' according to Chris Bentley.

"The 606, formerly called the Bloomingdale Trail, 'is as much a highway for bikes as anything else, due in part to its having been largely funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program'."

Link to AN Blog web site


Good New on House Prices: "Housing market grinds to a halt as sales hit lowest level since 1978"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"House prices could rise by a quarter in the next five years, a report predicts today after finding the number of homes for sale has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1978.

"The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warns of an 'acute shortage of supply' as Britain's ageing population of home owners moves less frequently and focuses instead on helping their children on to the housing ladder.

"Each surveyor had just 52 for-sale properties on the books in May, the organisation found, the lowest monthly figure registered in nearly four decades."


Brent Cross Shopping Centre: "Hugo Boss - Sale"

"We are pleased to invite you and a friend to our exclusive Sale Preview."

Monday 8th June 2015 – Friday 12th June 2015

"Please bring this personal invitation with you to receive the special discount of 25% on Spring and selected Summer lines." [Er, that's it. So good luck with that.]

Terms & Conditions
"Discount available at selected BOSS stand-alone stores in the UK and Ireland, on Spring and selected Summer 2015 lines, excluding basics, eyewear, helmets, fragrances, mobile accessories, watches. Exchange only on items bought with discount.

"Offer Ends On 12th June 2015."

"The German fashion house succumbed to
mounting pressure from unions, pension funds, politicians
and Hollywood celebrities, canceling its controversial plans
to shut down an Ohio suit factory"

Hugo Boss plant will stay open with new owners,
saving 160+ jobs

The Economist: "How renewable energy can become competitive"

Link to web site

"On 2 June, a group of scientists and economists announced plans for the launch of what they call the Global Apollo Programme in the hope of making new solar capacity cheaper than new coal-burning power plants by 2025. Countries which sign up to the project will promise to spend 0.02% of GDP on research into renewables, for a initial $15 billion in public spending. (Publicly funded research is currently $6 billion world-wide.)

"By comparison, the authors argue, the original Apollo moon programme cost a total of $150 billion in today’s money. Saving the planet, they argue, requires similar effort. But can renewable energy really make much of a difference?

"... Yet opponents of renewables say the level of subsidies involved shows that wind and solar investments are just boondoggles, salving the conscience of the green-minded and cossetting politically connected companies. That is true up to a point—governments have probably spent too much money on first-generation technology which is inefficient and expensive compared with what is now becoming available. But all energy is subsidised one way or another; users of fossil fuels don’t pay for the damage they do to the planet. Subsidies to renewable energy are around $100 billion a year."


FMag: "Hammerson unveils new identity"

"The developer is unveiling its new brand identity, a logo marking the culmination of its decision taken in 2012 to refocus its business on commercial real estate. [Which is presumably why it contributes a net reduction in housing stock in Barnet, before it clears off.]

"In place of its previous brand identity, which was adopted in 2006, Hammerson has now substituted two white squares forming an invisible 'H'. The image 'is underpinned by its vision of creating leading retail destinations, where more happens for consumers, and retailers alike,' according to the company.

"Hammerson manages a network composed of 22 shopping centers and 22 retail parks, not to mention investments in 15 European outlets. The total represents 2.2 million sq ft of commercial property valued at around 10.4 billion euros (7.7 billion pounds). Its flagship project in France, the Terrasses du Port in Marseille, attracted 12 million visitors in its first year."

Hammerson's Brent Cross restaurant (bless)


PERC: "New ebook: Forging Economic Discovery in 21st Century Britain"

"As part of PERC’s efforts to develop a new platform to advance the contemporary study of political economy, we present our first eBook.

"Drawing on a wide range of academic and non-academic experts, this collection of essays explores the changes that need to happen in our understanding and analysis of the UK economy. Authors speak to the groundswell of interest in wrestling 'the economy' away from elite policy circles and developing a new collaborative research agenda where the economy is a human, rather than abstract, endeavour."

The Guardian: "A more radical approach to debt: do nothing"

"IMF economists explore radical approach for states with large public debts – if the cure is worse than the disease, why not just live with the debt?"

Link to web site

"One of the most obvious legacies of the global financial crisis is the sharp increase in public debt. Countries scrambling to avert the collapse of their economies or banking systems built up stocks of debt at a pace previously unseen during peacetime.

"Attention has more recently turned to how quickly that debt should be paid down. In the UK, Chancellor George Osborne has made cutting the national debt as a share of GDP a key pledge.

"But now economists at the International Monetary Fund have explored the potential merits of a more radical approach to all this debt: doing nothing at all. In other words, 'just live with it', they propose."


Thu 4 June: Legatum Institute: "London Needs to Build the Right Housing—Not Just More Housing"

"The Legatum Institute and Create Streets will host a livestreamed panel with Evan Davis, housing experts and some of London's prospective mayoral candidates, as they discuss how to solve the capital's housing crisis and boost well-being by building homes people want to live in"

"In some ways the solution to the housing crisis is easy: build more, lots more. But, this has never been politically easy—hence the plethora of programmes to boost demand not supply.

"So the debate moves on to: how do we build homes that people love so that unlocking that supply becomes politically easier? Do we need to regulate what we build based on people’s preferences, with less focus on how we build it? And is there a way to solve London’s housing crisis without the controversy that we are currently creating?

  • Cristina Odone, Director of Communications, Legatum Institute
Introductory Remarks and Presentation
  • Evan Davis, Presenter, BBC Newsnight
  • David Lammy, MP for Tottenham; London Mayoral Candidate
  • Ivan Massow, financial services entrepreneur; London Mayoral Candidate
  • Yolande Barnes, Director, World Research, Savills
  • Toby Lloyd, Head of Policy, Shelter UK
  • Thursday, 4 June, 2015, 18:00 for 18:15 start, followed by a drinks reception
  • Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street, London, W1J 5DW
  • This event is now full, however, the discussion will be livestreamed. Details below. For enquiries, please contact Emily Callaghan.

Hammerson and Barnet grab Cricklewood's Clitterhouse Farm

From Clitterhouse Farm Project:
"During the public planning consultation held in the summer of 2013 we rallied together and with your help - 'saving the farm for community use' - was raised as the second highest priority area for the community. At the planning committee 30th January 2014 councillors and the developers recognised the buildings as a potential valuable community resource. In October 2014 in a meeting with Hammerson and Barnet we were informed that the buildings were to be retained. Since then we have had numerous meetings and negotiations with the council and Hammerson where we have made it clear that it is our intention to restore the entire site for community use.

"The latest amendments to Barnet's reserved matters application - which includes the farm - show that they want to take buildings and external courtyard space for a park maintenance depot (see image).

"If you would like to download the relevant documents, click this link:
It will automatically download a ZIP file of three PDF files. Search for the word ‘farm’ in the PDF to find the relevant sections.

"Clitterhouse Farm Project will be strongly objecting to these plans on just some of the following grounds (below).

  • A maintenance depot with heavy machinery is not ‘community use’. Our community has lost several valuable assets already such as Hendon Football club and the green triangles on nearby Brent Terrace and potentially the green space outside B&Q on Cricklewood Lane. We cannot afford to lose another space to this development. We need these spaces to meet and interact and form the backbone of a strong and cohesive community

  • This proposal damages the financial viability of our community project by severely reducing the usable space within the site and may jeopardise our prospects of accessing funding the refurbishment of the buildings. Clitterhouse Farm Project has built financial projections - based on information in previous planning applications that stated that the parks team would need 2,800 sq feet of the farm site. This amendment represents a significant increase in that area by 1,200 sq feet and undermines the financial sustainability of an important community enterprise

  • Removing such a large section of the courtyard damages the unique architectural quality of the Victorian farmyard. We value the heritage of the building and feel that design layout undermines them

  • There is an inappropriate and incompatible use of space. A large depot such as this will represent a health and safety risk. The size and scale of the depot is unacceptable given its proximity to our proposed community facilities, Claremont primary school, the entrance to the playing fields and the nearby residential buildings

  • The consultation process has been very poor. Local residents and community groups have been given too little time to respond to the lengthy and detailed plans. In this instance we have had seven days to respond by the time we were informed of the latest consultation and the impending deadline on the 5th June

  • The detailed design plans of the farm should be treated as a separate planning application so that the community can be engaged in a genuine consultation process.

"Please take five minutes to respond and have your say. Feel free to expand if you feel we have missed any important points. Your voice is important. If you have an opinion on this issue, you need to speak up. Do not copy and paste this text as your comments will be ignored.

"Email your objections directly to Thomas Wyld: thomas.wyld@barnet.gov.uk using reference 15/00769/RMA, and copy to planning.consultation@barnet.gov.uk."


"Hammerson rebrands and relocates" (still an arrogant sow's ear, though)

Brent Cross, London
Brent Cross is a UK retail success story. Located in one of the UK’s most affluent catchments, it has a loyal and partisan customer base which thrives on having access to the best of both UK and international brands.

"Located at the junction of the M1 motorway and the London North Circular, it is [a car-based site] well positioned to serve the 2m people within its core catchment area [by car] who spend approximately £9.9 billion on non-grocery items. The area is identified as a key national growth zone [No, it's not. You surely don't mean the Budget mention by George Osborne, do you?], and the site has planning consent for additional retail and leisure space of 600,000 sq ft, to be delivered in a transformational development over the next five years.

"Brent Cross has one of the largest retail catchments in the UK, and is the largest asset by value in the Hammerson portfolio."


"To mark the final part of its shift in becoming a purely retail-focussed property specialist, Hammerson has today launched a new brand proposition to accompany the move of its UK headquarters into new premises at Kings Place in King’s Cross.

"Hammerson’s new brand identity is the visual manifestation of its continued focus on a strategic brand proposition which fits the Company’s strategic approach and is underpinned by its vision of creating leading retail destinations, where more happens for consumers and retailers alike.

"The new branding strategy provides a clear proposition and brand framework that builds in consistency across the Company’s activities at a corporate and asset level. As appropriate, Hammerson’s new look and feel will be implemented across the Company’s portfolio of shopping centres and retail parks within Europe.

"The new brand is adaptable, providing flexibility to be used across consumer or commercial stakeholder audiences and importantly, allows individual assets to benefit from a visible corporate brand whilst retaining their iconic identities.

"Hammerson’s reinvigorated brand will be showcased at its new headquarters in Kings Place, King’s Cross. The new 24,000 sq ft office on the sixth floor of Kings Place, will see Hammerson become part of a vibrant central London hub, which has rapidly become a sought after spot for a range of international businesses, including fashion retailers and media companies.

"The new office, which is targeting a SKA Gold rating, will provide staff with a contemporary, modern and agile working environment that reflects Hammerson’s retail focus.

"David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson said:
"Over the last three years we have realigned our strategy to become the largest retail-focused property company in the UK, redefining the core of our business. Combined with our move to Kings Place, this year was the opportune time to reappraise the way we present Hammerson – both externally and internally – and to implement a new brand identity that embodies our retail DNA.

“Integral to our brand proposition is our focus on creating a consistent and engaging experience for customers and retailers across our portfolio, whilst maintaining the iconic status of our individual assets. This rebranding exercise marks the final strategic phase in our journey to become retail specialists and clearly defines what Hammerson stands for amongst our stakeholders."

Daily Telegraph: "Renting your way to poverty: welcome to the future of housing"

"The housing crisis is already out of control, and no one in politics wants to help"

Link to web site

"... Prices have risen because the government has been trying to get them to rise. At the end of 2014 the campaigning organisation Priced Out calculated that the government-sponsored Help to Buy programme had helped raise average prices by £46,000 in 18 months – or 27 per cent – resulting in an additional 258,000 renters being priced-out of buying a home as compared to the 31,000 buyers helped by the scheme. Some 3.5 million people who would have normally been able to buy a home are now trapped in private renting.

"In the autumn of 2014 there was little sign of a slowdown in the UK housing market. There were plenty of warnings of a slowdown, but very little evidence of prices falling. By September prices fell slightly in most regions, but they usually do in that month. In London prices had risen by a remarkable 18.4 per cent in just one year. That annual percentage increase had itself been rising all year; but no one can tell you what it will be in a few months from now. It could crash; it could grow even higher; it is unlikely to remain the same. As prices began to fall in central London in February and March of 2015 the latest budget is designed to try to hold them up through to 7 May.

"On 23 October 2014, shares in the London-based estate agents, Foxtons, fell by 20 per cent in just a matter of hours. They fell because Foxtons said that they did not expect to make as much money next year as they had in 2014. Many investors wondered whether this might be signalling the start of a wider property crash. Foxton's fortunes have suffered again very recently and again there is chattering among the informed. Annual price rises of 21 per cent were reported in London last year. Four years of such housing inflation and prices would more than double. Everyone in the business knows it has to come to an end, they just don’t know when."


Governing.com: "How Well Can a City Predict Its Future 20 Years Out?"

"In 1994, Seattle won praise from urbanist thinkers nationwide with its 20-year plan for population and economic growth"

Link to web site

"Twenty years ago, Seattle was America’s epicenter of urban planning. Its mayor, Norm Rice, had sponsored and guided into law a long-range blueprint that laid out in copious detail what the city was projected to look like in the faraway year of 2014.

"According to Seattle's Comprehensive Plan, as the document was officially known, the city would emerge from a period of slow growth and increase its population significantly in the ensuing two decades. It would use its planning tools to direct the new growth into 39 'urban villages' scattered across the city. These communities would gradually evolve into urbanist showplaces: compact enclaves organized around walkable streets, neighborhood commerce, reliable public transportation and abundant green space. Elements of the plan seemed to come straight out of the writings of Jane Jacobs, the author of the influential 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

"... In 2013, newly elected Mayor Ed Murray did something mayors typically forget to do. He asked what the consequences of the once-famous urban plan had been. And he hired Peter Steinbrueck, a longtime city council member who had opened up a private urban consulting firm, to launch a study to find out. Steinbrueck’s team spent a year on what it called the Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment Project, studying 10 of the urban villages in minute detail and gathering more general information about the city itself. Earlier this year, it produced a 170-page report."