.

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

2016-01-31

The Observer: "If having more no longer satisfies us, perhaps we’ve reached 'peak stuff'"


"Real economists don't ask questions about happiness. The economy pumps out goods and services, all of which create jobs and incomes. There is no value judgment in such a statement, no view of what constitutes the good life."

Link to web site

"There is a quest for meaning, aided and abetted by the knowledge and information revolutions, that is not answered by traditionally scale-produced goods and services. Economist Tomas Sedlacek, who has won an international following for his book Economics of Good and Evil, insists that contemporary societies have become slaves to a defunct economistic view of the world.

"When western societies were poorer, it was reasonable for economics to focus on how to produce more stuff – that was what societies wanted. Now, the question is Aristotelian: how to live a happy life – or 'humanomics', as Sedlacek calls it. Aristotle was clear: happiness results from deploying our human intelligence to act creatively on nature. To inquire and successfully to quest for understanding is the root of happiness.

"Yet most people today, says Sedlacek, work in jobs they do not much like, to buy goods they do not much value – the opposite of any idea of the good life, Aristotelian or otherwise. What we want is purpose and a sense of continual self-betterment, which is not served by buying another iPhone, wardrobe or a kitchen."

[Reposted] Back to the Future: Just an expansion of a shopping centre


1996


2013

Accurate Brent Cross Masterplan? No! Allies & Morrison's image forgets the southern parts of what became Barnet's corrupt planning consent!


(2016: now a dead link!)

"The Brent Cross masterplan presents a vision for a sustainable town centre. The key location of this brownfield site, which straddles the North Circular ring road, supports its potential as a major urban centre for northwest London, creating a gateway to the city from the M1. [Meaning: Come by car!]

"The mixed-use development provides business and residential expansion, recreation facilities and retail opportunities, underpinned by improved public transport connections. Sensitive to its context, the development creates clustered tall buildings as landmarks on the skyline, interspersed with smaller scale buildings and generous open spaces." [It also includes - on the same planning application - a 5-storey building on Cricklewood Lane.]

2016-01-30

The Globe and Mail: "Ambitious plans and political will: This is cycling’s pivotal moment in Toronto"


Link to web site

"So when it comes to cycling infrastructure, why is Toronto so far behind cities such Montreal, which is notably colder?

One historic factor was a fight within the cycling community. As Montreal was building separated bicycle lanes, activists in Toronto were more likely to call for sharing the road. The thinking of so-called vehicular cyclists – who believe that bicycles should take their place on the road amid other vehicles – was influential for a long time in much of North America. But the tide finally began turning in Toronto and in other cities.

" 'Recently, very recently, a lot of planners and advocates changed their mind and realized [separated lanes were] an option to look at seriously,' Jean-François Provonost, a vice-president with the advocacy group Vélo Québec, said in an interview last summer in Montreal, in a café beside one of the city's successful bikes lanes. 'If we want to have dedicated spaces for cyclists, this is probably the way to go.'

"The research backs him up. Studies find that a minority of people will never ride a bicycle, no matter what facilities are built. A smaller group will ride in any conditions. But the majority of people remain in the middle. They are prospective riders – as long as they can feel safe."

2016-01-26

Broken Barnet: "The Last Betrayal, or - the breaking of West Hendon, and the making of a latter day myth: 'sink estates' ... "


(West Hendon shares its 2005 LB of Barnet 'Supplementary Planning Guidance' with Brent Cross Cricklewood.)

Link to Mrs Angry

"I've lost count, now, of the number of posts I've written about West Hendon, and the eviction of a community from the place they call home, down there, by the waterfront, on the edge of the Welsh Harp.

"The residents of West Hendon call it home: or they did, but the local Tory councillors see the place where they live as not a community, but a business opportunity, and under the pretext of 'regeneration', and despite a promise to residents of a better housing on the same site, handed the publicly-owned land to Barratt London for a private, luxury high-rise property development.

"The land was worth £12 million, but was given to developers for £3, so as to allow them to maximise profits on their investment, conservatively estimated last year at a mere £92 million."





[Reposted and expanded] Barnet gives planning permission for 5-storey building for this site, on the same planning application as a new John Lewis at Brent Cross, a MILE away! (The Banality of Corruption)


Link to 'Wembley Matters' web site





Agreement dated 30th January 1987 between Mayor of Barnet, Mayor of Brent, Charterhall Properties (Cricklewood) Ltd, and Erith Plc states:
The description of development refers to provision of 'new public conveniences, public footpaths, and area of public open space'.

Public Open Space is defined as 'the creation of a public open space on that part of the site show coloured yellow on the Plan, such open space to make substantial provision for tree and shrub planting within it and to be attractively landscaped and laid out to the satisfaction of the Council'.

Paragraph 4 b(iv) refers to the Council adopting the public open space after a defects period of 12 months, 'and thereupon the Public Open Space shall become a public open space maintainable at the public expense'.

Paragraphs 4 (d) and (e) refer to not building on the land with the sewer and accepting the strips of land with public footpaths respectively."

(2014 update: Next to the road has since been improved -
the rest of the land is still under threat)
Pic: Theo Simpson


Link to HOME (see all posts).

Hammerson announces new Brent Cross parking layout



2016-01-24

The Observer: "Boris Johnson has led cheerleading for the global super-wealthy as they buy up London's best housing, says damning report"


Link to web site

"... The research, part of a series of papers studying areas collectively described as the 'alpha territory', blames the shortage of affordable housing in the capital on three factors.

First, the ruling political class is compliant towards the super-rich and distanced not only from the housing conditions of the poor but also the middle classes, who now feel displaced by the global uber-wealthy.

Second, the government’s welfare cuts have been used to make prime neighbourhoods more attractive to rich foreign investors, 'as tenants and low-income households are priced out of spaces previously reserved for them by the state'.

Third, the unregulated private housing market 'disadvantages those who are already struggling to survive its excesses'."

2016-01-23

Wed 27 Jan: Argent's (yes, ARGENT'S) Brent Cross Planning Application 15/06518/RMA - Roads around the Living Hell Bridge




"Arup has been commissioned by Argent (Property Development)Services LLP to provide transport and highways advice in support of an application for highways infrastructure for Brent Cross South Phase 1A (South).

"The proposals for Phase 1A (South) comprise two sections of highway designated as the eastern end of Claremont Park Road from the junction with Claremont Avenue (Claremont Park Road (Part 1)), and the western end of School Lane from the junction with Claremont Avenue to Claremont Road. Both of these roads tie into highways infrastructure addressed under BXC Phase 1A (North), and as such the proposals here are intended to complement those of Phase 1A (North). No plot development is to be brought forward under Phase 1A (South), and as such no assessment of trips has been undertaken.

"... Overall, the proposals for BXS Phase 1A (South) are in line with the wider constraints and design guidance under the BXC scheme and the more local constraints arising from the proposals of Phase 1A (North). As no plot development is proposed under Phase 1A (South), it is considered that, with the exception of the Pedestrian and Cycle Strategy submitted alongside this RMTR, there is no additional requirement for strategy documents relating to travel planning and construction management."


"... The Living Bridge is also proposed to replace the existing footbridge across the A406, providing a shared pedestrian and cycle linkage to the north of the BXC site. Proposals under Phase 1A (South) connect to the southern end of the Living Bridge as well as into facilities on Claremont Avenue under Phase 1A (North)."









Barnet Press: Councillor Dean Cohen: 'Barnet Car Crisis?'






Link to 'Barnet Car Crisis'

2016-01-22

Argent: Picking over the ashes of the corrupt LB of Barnet 2010 planning consent...


"Argent has announced a shake-up of its senior management team, after three of its senior partners, including construction supremo Tony Giddings, left the business.

"Former partners Jim Prower and Tony Giddings have retired, and Roger Madelin has taken a new job at British Land, leading to the appointment of two new partners and four directors from within the company.

"Phil Sullivan will take charge of construction following Giddings’ departure as construction director,

"Michael Lightbound, already a partner at the firm, becomes finance partner and two senior project directors, Anna Strongman and Will Colthorpe, become partners.

"Strongman will oversee all estate management, property management and regeneration initiatives at King’s Cross, and contribute to the strategies for Argent’s Brent Cross South and Tottenham Hale sites.



"Colthorpe will be responsible for the office and hotel developments at King’s Cross, leading teams delivering design, procurement and leasing activities.

"In addition Rob Groves becomes regional director, Phil Tait becomes programme director and Steve Alderson becomes marketing director."

Providing no transport need whatsoever: The site of Hammerson's and the London Borough of Barnet's "Living Hell Bridge"



"Address: North Circular Road, Brent Cross, London NW9"
"This street location is on the Transport for London network. Any filming on the road, bridges or footways that run alongside, over, or under it, is under TfL's jurisdiction."



[Reposted] An example of how to do community planning (instead of the corrupt methods of the London Borough of Barnet)


2016-01-20

Brent Cyclists and Brent Cross: Over our dead bodies


The Hors d'oeuvre
"The modified proposals for Brent Cross Staples Corner look like something someone drew on the back of a fag packet -appalling quality, and in no way acceptable. Cyclists would be expected to proceed on the A5 from north to south via five or six Toucans and using shared paths. It would take 15 minutes to cover a distance that should take 15 seconds.

"We’ll be making a formal response shortly. The fundamental problem is they're not willing to alter their basic design for the junction, which was created on the basis of ignoring pedestrians and cyclists.

"Another aspect of the modified proposals (here) is the reduction of Tempelhof Avenue from a proposed two general lanes and two bus lanes, plus cycle track, to just two general lanes plus cycle track. So a big rolling back of bus provision.

"Meanwhile, we are hearing from senior sources in Transport for London that NONE of this will go ahead. We am inclined to believe this, though we don't have direct confirmation. How this might affect the rest of the regeneration scheme, we don’t know."


The Main Course

Brent Cross Cricklewood Update to the Phase Transport Report for Phase 1

"The following is the Brent Cyclists response submitted on 19 January 2016 to this Barnet Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application. Some extracts from the plans relevant to the response are attached. 

"This a response on behalf of Brent Cyclists, the local group in Brent of the London Cycling Campaign. We represent around 200 members in Brent, and aim to represent the interests of all who cycle or would like to cycle in NW London. We have discussed these plans at our meeting."


"The document Phase 1 Addendum 4OF4 [above] shows a design for surface-level shared (Toucan) crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at Staples Corner West junction.While it is progress that there is now recognition that it will be necessary to accommodate the movements of pedestrians and cyclists at surface level at the junction, the proposed concept is totally unsatisfactory.

"From what one can tell from this unclear plan, it seems to require users to negotiate five or six separate crossings just to travel from north to south on the line of the A5. On a bicycle, this would turn what should be a 15 second trip segment into one lasting possibly 15 minutes. 

"It is absurd to suppose this would be used as intended by the designers. Furthermore, the concept of a shared cycle and pedestrian path is unsatisfactory. Separation is necessary between the different modes.


"The plans for the shared foot and cycleways shown in Addendum 3OF4 [above] remain unsatisfactory for the same reasons, and because the journey from north to south on the line of the A5 diverted on these paths would also be absurdly indirect and time-consuming for cyclists.

"Fundamentally we see here are road junction designs compiled with one sole criterion: motor vehicle throughput, and we see pedestrians and cyclists being grudgingly fitted-in round the margins in all these plans.

"We require a fundamental rethink of junction layouts at Staples Corner and elsewhere in the development area that treats cycling properly and applies the current TfL London Cycle Design Standards.

"These plans will remain unsatisfactory to us, other stakeholders, and, we believe, to all the surrounding borough councils, as well as Transport for London, until this is done."

Barnet Press: "Freer: 'diggers will be on Brent Cross within 18 months'"





"FINCHLEY and Golders Green MP Mike Freer told sixth formers that their school would be rebuilt under £4 billion plans to develop Brent Cross and Cricklewood - but said a more difficult construction challenge was that the Houses of Parliament were 'sinking'.

"Mr Freer met with pupils at Whitefield School, Claremont Road, which is set to be demolished and rebuilt as part of plans on its doorstep which include the building of more than 7,500 new homes, a new Thameslink rail station and the doubling the size of Brent Cross shopping centre.

"... Also meeting with deputy head boy Matei Sacerdoteanu, Mr Freer said the Brent Cross/Cricklewood development would create 'a small town of around 15,000 people' along with a commercial district and a fast rail link to the city and possibly Luton airport."

Evening Standard: "Architect Sir Terry Farrell's master plan for the regeneration of Brent Cross and Cricklewood includes a new shopping district." (The roof is built of nano-particles, and is unaffected by falling icicles or the weight of snow.)



"A £4.5 billion redevelopment of railway lands at Brent Cross and Cricklewood is bringing 7,500 homes, three new schools, four parks and a new Thameslink station, offering a 12-minute commute to central London.

The 20-year project is soon to start. It will create a new town centre for the area, including a high street leading to a revamped shopping district at Brent Cross. The high street will pass through new public squares and over a 'living bridge' — a new cycle and pedestrian crossing over North Circular Road.

The railway looms large in Cricklewood's history and topography. The area came of age in the 1880s when Midland Railway moved its locomotive works from Kentish Town to the new Brent Sidings and built an estate of railway cottages, now coveted private homes, for its workers.

Today it attracts people who have outgrown their Kilburn or West Hampstead flat and want more space for their money, as they seek to settle down in a good-value family house with a credible-sounding postcode less than four miles from Marble Arch. Cricklewood numbers former London mayor Ken Livingstone among its residents.

As a general rule, prices sag in the centre of Cricklewood, and rise expectantly towards its borders with Barnet, Brent and Hendon.

Check out the quieter streets and conservation areas either side of the bustling Broadway, including Mapesbury Estate and 'the Groves' — Yew Grove, Elm Grove and Ash Grove — plus roads surrounding 86-acre Gladstone Park, close to Dollis Hill."

2016-01-17

Barnet Times: "Cyclists 'disappointed' at new superhighway could be scrapped." And a Richard 'Ebenezer' Cornelius Brent Cross letter.


Scoot to web site

"CYCLISTS campaigning for safer routes are 'disappointed' after learning a superhighway linking Barnet, Brent and central London could be scrapped.

"... David Arditti, Brent Cyclists’ coordinator, who has lobbied Brent council to provide safer cycle routes, believes that central London is being prioritised over the outer towns.

"... Mr Arditti, who has coordinated Brent Cyclists for the last eight years, said he wants the next Mayor of London to commit to Brent Cross cycle routes, but neither Sadiq Khan or Zac Goldsmith have put forward any clear ideas.

"Clive Gomes, Brent Cyclists' campaigns coordinator, said: 'Provisions for Brent Cross cyclists are almost non-existent.'"







Barratts: Buy property in Barnet - at West Hendon / Welsh Harp for instance!




2016-01-12

BBC: "What makes estates 'brutal'?"


"David Cameron has announced plans to tackle social problems through bulldozing a number of Britain's housing estates, saying they are 'entrenching poverty', and that the 'brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways' are a 'gift to criminals and drug dealers'. So does the design of estates cause crime?"

Link to web site

"... Rather than focusing on individual features, there's a more fundamental approach that makes for a happy estate.

" 'A lot of these post-war estates were built without community engagement in the development of the plans, and what's important in terms of getting it right next time is that we actually work with the people who live there to design estates to be places where people want to live,' says Fisher.

"Carron agrees that giving residents a say is absolutely fundamental:
"Consultation needs to happen with the people who live on these estates. You need to ask them what's wrong with where they're living. Don't go in and think you can just bulldoze it down."


[Reposted from April 2014] The Guardian: "Boris Johnson's transport planners forecast soaring London road congestion"


Link to web site

"Boris Johnson's transport policies will fail to prevent huge increases in road traffic congestion across London in the coming years, according to research by his own transport agency.

"Transport for London has concluded that by 2031 congestion in central London will have worsened by 60% even if Johnson's entire transport strategy investment programme is implemented and augmented with further short-term measures. Congestion in inner London is projected to rise by 25% and in outer London by 15%.

"A paper containing a summary of the research was presented to the TfL board's surface transport panel earlier this month. It says a range of 'easier' options that might lessen congestion, including greater use of traffic control technology, attempts to change people's travel habits and further public transport investment, would be 'insufficiently effective by themselves to hold congestion at today's levels and will in fact only provide a few years of mitigation'."

2016-01-06

[Reposted] 2009: Brent Cross Railway: The Wilderness Years


'Barnet Times':
Link to the Barnet Times
(map shows possible eventual 2009 scheme -
before diversion to Old Oak Common Crossrail in the west,
and reaching Alexandra Palace Crossrail 2 in the east,
 began to be promoted)

"The light-rail, or electric tram, will ease road congestion, as well as reduce climate change, say the Campaign for Better Transport backed by Barnet councillors Geof Cooke, Labour, and Conservative John Hart.

"In Barnet Council’s Local Development Framework, published in June last year, poor transport links within the borough were identified as a key challenge in the borough’s growth.

"A meeting to discuss the plans is to be held at Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, this Wednesday at 7.30pm."



'Barnet Eye' web site:
"Trams for Barnet - Sense at last !!!"

(Click above to enlarge)

Link to a 2009 post (and comments)
on Barnet Eye.

"One of my biggest objections to the various regeneration schemes in Barnet is the lack of infrastructure. Looking at these plans, it seems that maybe, at last, a bit of thought is being put into addressing some of these issues. What is interesting about these plans is just how much of the scheme is utilising, disused or underused existing railways. 

"One of my biggest bugbears is just how difficult it is to get across the borough, East to West. Since the demise of Edgware general, people wuch as my aunt who lives in Mill Hill, have a nightmare journey to get to Barnet Hospital. This scheme, if fully implemented would make this journey far easier, with a connection from Mill Hill Copthall to Finchley Central, then a tube trip to Barnet. 

"Linking the two branches of the Northern Line (Colindale to Finchley Central) is a masterstroke. It is also worth noting that it makes many school trips far more practical using public transport. This scheme is good for the environment, good for the travelling public and good for Barnet businesses. As such I fully support it."



December 2011: 
More up-to-date light-rail proposals start from west London's Old Oak Common High-Speed-Two/Crossrail station, via Brent Cross (with a branch to Wembley) then Colindale, Mill Hill East, Finchley Central, and the North Circular Road corridor to New Southgate and Arnos Grove.
'Transport for London' has suggested a new 'Crossrail 2' line, from south-west London to Alexandra Palace. An interchange with that might be the terminus - or light-rail could continue, following the North Circular Road further eastwards.

A 'Phase One' scheme would likely be around either Brent Cross or Old Oak Common. Hammersmith & Fulham Council wants light-rail at Old Oak Common, as shown in its Sir Terry Farrell video.

The vast majority of the 'North and West London Light Railway' route would be along existing freight railway corridors, old railway track-beds, and the North Circular Road. Two tunnels would probably be needed - to cross the M1 motorway (which was built on the removed railway track) and east of Arnos Grove.

There is more information on the TRANSPORT page.

2016-01-03

[Verily, reposted] "We are Brent Citizens Against the Planning Corruption of the London Borough of Barnet! We have been charged with a holy quest!"





Briefing on New Rail Services in Brent


This briefing gives details of:

  • the proposed "Crossrail-to-the-West-Coast-Main-Line" service through Wembley Central station
  • a new London Overground service across Brent to Hendon Thameslink station
  • possible light-rail / tram services.

When rail services are proposed, they have to be paid for. Brent has the Wembley Opportunity Area, but the main sources of possible subsidy come from:

  • Brent Cross Cricklewood (in Barnet) and
  • Old Oak Common (now controlled by the "Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation").

BRENT CROSS CRICKLEWOOD


This is a £4.5-billion development, with a very long border with Brent, along the A5 Edgware Road.

There was a 1996 car-based scheme to expand the out-of-town shopping centre: HERE

John Prescott and the High Court both rejected this, and in 2002 Barnet instructed the shopping centre developers, including Hammerson, to devise a bigger "Brent Cross Cricklewood Masterplan".

This was just "top-down planning", and Barnet has never bothered with anything more democratic.


In 2005 Barnet produced "Supplementary Planning Guidance" for the London Plan, but it merely confirmed what was in the masterplan.

It predicted over 29,000 extra cars per day in the Brent Cross area!


Comments were submitted to reopen the Dudding Hill Freight Line that runs across Brent (from Acton, via Harlesden, Neasden and Gladstone Park). But these attempts were thrown out, because "the railway wasn't in Barnet".


A Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application was submitted in 2008.

Campaigners proposed a "North and West London Light Railway" with phase one at Brent Cross, instead of all the extra cars: Three pages in PDF file HERE (be patient for it to download)


LB of Brent also produced a map of possible light-rail across Brent and to Wembley, Green dashed lines HERE


Hammerson wrote to the transport campaigners that it would only "investigate light-rail" if they signed an undertaking not to oppose the planning application! This was refused.


Barnet passed the application through committee in November 2009, although only after a Barnet officer lied that Brent did not object to the plan. (A robust exchange of letters followed.)

Barnet announced there would be an "A5 Corridor Study" - of various transport studies across Barnet, Brent and Camden - to placate opposition. This seems to have been downgraded by Barnet, into a minor planning condition, by a year later when formal consent was given.


The Brent Cross plan was "refreshed" in 2014, dropping most of the Section 106 promises.

Note that it still includes a 300,000 tonne-per-year waste incinerator next to Dollis Hill, and a 5-storey building on the only green space in Cricklewood's town centre, next to B&Q.

Only the chief whip of Barnet Tories spoke at the 2014 meeting. He said Brent Cross shopping centre was looking "tired". Everything else was still in the same planning application, including Cricklewood Lane over a mile away.



Brent Cross continues as a car-based development, just as in 1996.


LB of Brent is objecting to the latest version of the "A5 Corridor Study".

LB of Barnet only models Brent's road junctions if they are "not quite at saturation level" (that is, below 90%). Above that, the extra congestion - at already clogged junctions - is apparently not Barnet's concern, even though the junctions will get Brent Cross traffic.


OLD OAK COMMON


The High Speed Two and Crossrail station at Old Oak Common is a game-changer.

It is very near the route of the original light-rail proposal, but offers two new rail services across Brent - a branch of Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line (stopping at Wembley Central and Harrow & Wealdstone) and a new London Overground service on the Dudding Hill Line (to Brent Cross and Hendon or Mill Hill Broadway).


Transport for London plans are shown HERE and HERE


A "Harlesden Town Team" map of the area (take plenty of time to study it!) is shown HERE


CROSSRAIL TO THE WEST COAST MAIN LINE


There are various routes across Park Royal that this might take.

One possibility (the cheapest) is to follow the Dudding Hill Line as far as Harlesden, probably with extra parallel tracks, and then turn towards Wembley.

Other possibilities allow an extra Crossrail station within Park Royal, maybe near Central Middlesex Hospital.



There could be as many as eight Crossrail trains an hour stopping at Wembley Central,

In fact any smaller number and possibly NO trains would stop. This is because the platforms there are very narrow, and it is not feasible for staff to open the platform each time a fast through-train has gone by.

For safety, either all stop or none stop.


This plan has been downgraded recently, because Euston station will now be redeveloped in three phases, and there is less need to divert trains a different way. However, the benefits of Crossrail to Brent are clear - and need lobbying!


LONDON OVERGROUND ACROSS BRENT

Of course, the North London Line already runs across Brent, but the new service would be further out, and act as a "North Circular Road bypass".

Trains might run from Hounslow, on another new service.

They would stop at Old Oak Common at a new station, to interchange with the North London Line, HS2 and Crossrail, then use the Dudding Hill Line towards Hendon Thameslink station.



This is likely to be a four-trains-per-hour service.

The studies so far show a good economic case for this new Brent route. The line would need to be electrified, and freight trains would also benefit. Again, lobbying will help!


POSSIBLE LIGHT-RAIL / TRAMS IN BRENT

To be realistic, the above schemes - Crossrail and London Overground - are the main targets to aim for.

Nevertheless, car-based Brent Cross (and Colindale) still needs a tram system, and a separate system has been suggested at Old Oak Common, towards Kensal Canalside and Westbourne Park.


There is also the possibility of personal rapid transit pods, as in use at Heathrow Airport, shown HERE

However, no-one has introduced such a system across a wide area, and it might cost general users too much - perhaps like Boris's ill-fated dangleway across the Thames in east London.


So then:
  • Lobby for Brent's new Crossrail and London Overground services.
  • Despise the Brent Cross congestion (by opposing LB of Barnet's scheme).
  • Hope for better planning at Old Oak Common.