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


The Guardian: "The 'Paddington Shard' row shines a light on London's mayoral choice"

"The latest outbreak of hostilities over tall buildings in the capital underlines how crucial to the city’s future the next mayor’s planning policies will be"

Link to web site

"Four days before Christmas, Boris Johnson’s right hand man Sir Edward Lister wrote this for City AM:
"Not for the first time, tall buildings in the capital are attracting media debate and some criticism. But tall buildings in the right places can be part of the solution. Crucially, if we are genuinely serious about preserving our green belt at the same time as managing London’s population explosion, we will need to continue to build upwards.

"Tall buildings can create real value and provide the density so badly needed in a rapidly-growing city. They are not just suitable as bases for the thousands of new companies requiring office space in the capital each year, but as homes for Londoners too."
"The day after that, the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins wrote this for the Evening Standard:
"A plot is afoot to race ahead with a 'second Shard' in Paddington over the New Year. If built, it would be 72 storeys - one floor shorter than its sister tower - overlooking west London between Bayswater and Maida Vale. The developers could be hoping to avoid adverse publicity over the holiday so as to get planning permission at the beginning of March. At that point major planning decisions are suspended in advance of the mayoral elections.

They have the support of the mayor, Boris Johnson, and his tower-hungry deputy, Sir Edward Lister. They cannot trust either of the new mayoral candidates, Zac Goldsmith or Sadiq Khan, to be sympathetic."
"Fight! Fight! Fight! A joust between two of the built environment’s most august knights! A Jedi-esque dust-up over the city’s very soul! Who should we be rooting for, and why?"


Rail Engineer; "Remodelling Cricklewood"

Link to the Fat Controller

"Next time you travel down to London on the Midland main line, look out of the left-hand window as you enter the capital. Depending on the time of day, you will see either a load of trains parked up, waiting for the next peak period, or an expanse of empty sidings.

"This is Cricklewood. A large part of the East Midlands Trains fleet seems to be parked here during the day, and that role is due to be expanded as the new Thameslink fleet comes into operation."

(via Barnet Bugle) London Borough of Barnet's 2008 video of Colindale railway bridge ("On budget" - actually the budget was overspent by £11 million) and equally vacuous remarks about Brent Cross Cricklewood

Barnet Council's 'Three Strands' video March 2008 from Vimeostorage on Vimeo.

[Reposted from 2009] Holding up the vote in north London

More on the Transport page.

[Reposted] Out-of-Town Brent Cross Shopping Centre: From congestion hell to, er, 'living bridge' and congestion hell?

(Click to enlarge images)
(multi-storey car parks along all four sides;
plan finally rejected at appeal in 2002)

(rest of 'town centre' plan abandoned indefinitely;
now just 'shops and leisure')

2014: There's been another redesign.

Link to:


Unlike with Barnet's corrupt 2009 planning consent: "Enfield: Are roads for cars or kids? My part in the fight to make people-friendly streets"

"A Play Streets scheme that closes roads to cars opened Clare Rogers' eyes to the idea of roads for recreation. Now she's part of a grassroots campaign to revolutionise cycling in Enfield – but the battle isn't over"

Link to The Guardian

"My sister Sally started it when she sent me a video about Playing Out – the seminal Bristol project which closes residential roads to traffic so children can play freely – adding: 'Shame you couldn’t do this on your street.' Nothing goads like a sibling, and two years later our Palmers Green rat-run was an official London Play Street.

"Each month traffic is blocked off for three hours and the children play out with bikes, scooters, balls and chalk. Our girls, aged five and eight when it started, love it. It was a revelation seeing the tarmac used for something other than cars, and we got to know our neighbours in a way that was not possible when we only used the street to park on.

"The other revelation was the attitude of those neighbours who hated the idea. They organised a petition against the play street, and quotes from the time include: 'Roads are for cars, not kids', 'We’ll be a magnet for paedophiles' and 'Who’s going to pay when my car gets scratched?' Now these same neighbours have either approved the renewed play street order, or take part as stewards. I guess they just needed to see it up and running.


The Pods of Heathrow Airport

HAMMERGATE: Hammerson Shopping Centre Expansion in Car-choked London Traffic Congestion Scandal. (Sigh.)

Link to 'Inside Croydon'

"As the man who notoriously wants to speed 'the Surrey wallet-share' towards his mates' property scheme at Hammerson/Westfield, London Assembly Member Steve O'Connell probably doesn’t care much for the loss of parkland, homes and businesses in the TfL road schemes. O'Connell will be standing for re-election to City Hall next May.

"Croydon Council’s response to the original TfL consultation, which offered 'a pig in a poke' of no real choice at all, and certainly no public transport improvements to reduce private car use, came in for comment from the public at last week's council meeting.

"It was there that Labour's cabinet member for transport, Councillor Kathy Bee let slip that TfL was now looking at further road-building plans at Fiveways. 'Considerably more work has been conducted around Fiveways itself,' Bee told the meeting."


Thurs 17 Dec: Clitterhouse Farm event

Link to web site


Thurs 17th Dec 6.30-8.30pm
Ron Thomas Hall, 167A Cheviot Gardens, Cricklewood, NW2 1PY (MAP)

"Join us for a Festive Season gathering. We would like to share our news and plans for 2016 and also to hear your news and views about our area.

"We will be launching an exciting new project which we will be working on for the next 6 months through the Community Organisers Mobilisation Grant. Our aim is to explore with you how our local communities can make the best use of Community Rights and Neighbourhood Planning to address issues we care about and help shape the future of our area.

"Please bring your favourite festive dish to share if you can. Some hot soup, drinks and snacks will be provided.

"We would be most grateful if could let us to know if you will be attending so we can plan ahead for catering. Please RSVP via the Eventbrite link below. Everyone is welcome and his is a free event."

Eventbrite - Festive Celebrations & Conversations

"We hope to see lots of you before Christmas and to celebrate with everyone who has helped make 2015 such a success. Spread the word and bring your friends and neighbours, we're always looking to meet new people who live, work or volunteer in the area and would like to get involved."

[Reposted from Nov. 2010] Barnet Times: "Residents on the Whitefield Estate anxious over the future of their homes after Brent Cross Cricklewood approval"


Brent Cross Whitefields Estate: Hammerson's Path of Unnecessary (but profitable) Destruction

ThisIsMoney: "Thousands of new family homes could be built on green belt land in the biggest shake up of planning rules for three decades" (Daily Mail, so it's a long headline)

Link to web site

"A number of towns and cities in Britain could be set for rapid expansion in the coming years as the Government launches a consultation on relaxing green belt building.

"The Department for Communities and Local Government is considering whether local communities should be able to allocate sites for small starter home developments in their green belt.

"In what would be the biggest shake-up to planning protections for more than three decades, the ribbon of green belt land around towns and cities which prevents urban sprawl - bar in exceptional circumstances - could be built on more freely.

"The consultation comes as Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans for 400,000 new homes before 2020 in his Autumn Statement last month."


The Observer: "Is the only way up for London's skyline?"

"The Shard, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie… and there are more towers to come. So how do we judge what's blight and what's beautiful?"

Link to web site

"Tall buildings in London, say various forms of official policy on the matter, should be well-designed and in the right place. Well I never. Who could possibly disagree with that? Hands up all those who want badly designed skyscrapers in the wrong places.

"Yet, if you survey the hundreds of plans for towers at various stages of planning and construction in London, it's hard to find those elusive beings that have both or even either quality, projects that are unequivocally Well-designed And In The Right Place – let’s call them WDAITRPs.

"The Walkie Talkie? No on both counts. The St George tower in Vauxhall, and the Strata in Elephant and Castle? Ditto. The Shard? Arguably one but not the other."

The Guardian: "How do you create a city for all? The answer lies in West Norwood ..."

"Can local community cooperation be scaled up to create a participatory city? Neighbourhood-led pilot project the Open Works thinks so"

Link to web site

"In February 2014, a pilot project was launched in West Norwood, south London, mobilising 1,000 people to reconfigure their neighbourhood for everyday benefit. In partnership with Lambeth Council, the Open Works united residents of the neighbourhood to create 20 new, community-led initiatives – from orchards and gardens to a youth ideas incubator; from craft groups to communal kitchens.

" 'The idea was to test whether high-density, mass community participation can be scaled up to create a participatory city. And we believe it can,' says Laura Billings and Tessy Britton, co-founders of the Open Works. 'Community participation should be the starting point in any community development, not an afterthought.'

A follow-up report found that the small amount of seed-funding from Lambeth Council had indeed been successful in achieving 'bottom-up' change, building valuable social capital between those usually outside of each other's networks. But amid a backdrop massive cuts to council funding across the country – Lambeth has lost over 56% of its budget since 2010 – the project’s funding ended earlier this year."


"New funding for Community Organisers announced"


"The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, has announced the launch of a new £500,000 fund to support Community Organisers to mobilise residents to take action on the issues they care about.

"Twenty seven community organisers across England will benefit from the Community Organisers Mobilisation Fund which is jointly backed by the Cabinet Office and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

"All of the communities benefiting from the Fund will be supported to use the powers available to them under the Localism Act 2011. Community Organisers will actively support these communities to make the most of community rights, neighbourhood planning and other neighbourhood approaches to create positive change in their local area. The fund will enable communities to shape the future of the places they live and work in – from using the Community Right to Build with residents of Heaton in Newcastle to setting up community owned pubs in Brighton.

"Different types of communities from across the country will benefit, including:

  • in Bognor Regis, Val Souchet will be supporting community groups to use the Community Right to Bid alongside other neighbourhood approaches to put the community at the heart of decision making. The focus will be on harnessing economic boosts like local tourism and development to benefit residents
  • in rural Cornwall, Patrick Murphy aims to support residents to deliver community-led youth services and will look to transfer a Nancherrow Youth Centre in West Cornwall into community ownership
  • in Birmingham, Kaneez Hasna will be working in the community of Bordesley Green. She will support the residents to understand how the Community Right to Challenge can help improve services and assets in their local area , including their local heritage park."

"Get involved in your community – for ideas, resources, case studies and tools see: My Community and link up with others taking action in their neighbourhood by joining the My Community Network."

"Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society said:
"I am delighted that residents across England will benefit from the support of a Community Organiser to help them shape their neighbourhoods. More resilient, capable communities are a cornerstone of my vision for a bigger and stronger society. I look forward to seeing positive changes in these communities."
"Marcus Jones, Minister for Local Government said:
"This is an exciting opportunity for residents to take greater control of their local assets and planning for the future. It supports our commitment to creating stronger and more resilient communities. It will encourage these neighbourhoods to consider how they can influence local decision making, improve local services and help them shape the place where they live. I look forward to hearing about the positive impact on local neighbourhoods as the projects progress."
"The Company of Community Organisers Ltd is managing the initiative on behalf of the Cabinet Office and DCLG."

"Read about other ways that we’re supporting social action."


Sky: "Many New-Build Homes Like 'Rabbit Hutches'" (led by Hammerson's despotic General Woundwort)

"The Royal Institute of British Architects says space standards that are currently optional should apply across the board"

Link to Sky web site

"Many new family homes being built in England are like rabbit hutches because they are too small to live in comfortably, a report has warned.

"It found that on average a new three-bedroom home sold outside London is four square metres short of what buyers need – equivalent to the size of a family bathroom.

"The study by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) compared the sizes of new three-bedroom homes on more than 100 developments across England against new, optional space standards introduced in October."


Create Streets; "High-Rise Buildings: Energy and Density"

"High-Rise Buildings: Energy and Density Professor Philip Steadman of UCL sets out some of the existing evidence on density and energy usage for high-rise buildings"

Link to PDF file

"As is well known, large numbers of high-rise buildings are under construction or planned for London. A survey last year by New London Architecture showed that 236 buildings of more than 20 storeys are planned, of which 80% are residential.

Today there are extra concerns about high-rise buildings, to do with their sustainability and use of energy. In this context a new research project at University College London’s Energy Institute will try to answer two questions:
1. Are high-rise buildings more energy-intensive – all other things being equal – than equivalent low-rise buildings?

2. Is it possible to provide the same total floor area on the same sites as high-rise buildings, but on a much-reduced number of storeys?"